DOT considers shutting down GPS backup system News – The Transportation Department kicked off a public comment period that could determine the fate of a Global Positioning System backup system viewed by industry officials as essential for communications network timing signals and electronic navigation.

DOT said in a Federal Register notice published Jan. 8 that it wants comments on whether to shut down the ground-based Long-Range Navigation (Loran) system operated by the Coast Guard or to develop a fully deployed enhanced Loran (eLoran) system that could serve as a GPS backup. Comments are due Feb. 7.

DOT said it is also working with the Homeland Security Department, which includes the Coast Guard, to determine whether investments made so far now merit consideration of eLoran as a complementary electronic system to GPS. The Coast Guard has spent $160 million on Loran modernization since 1997.

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