[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 4 (Thursday, January 7, 2010)]
[Page 998]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-83]



Coast Guard

[Docket No. USCG-2009-0299]

Terminate Long Range Aids to Navigation (Loran-C) Signal

AGENCY: U.S. Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: On October 28, 2009, the President signed into law the 2010 
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The Act allows for 
the termination of the Loran-C system subject to the Coast Guard 
certifying that termination of the Loran-C signal will not adversely 
impact the safety of maritime navigation and the Department of Homeland 
Security certifying that the Loran-C system infrastructure is not 
needed as a backup to the GPS system or to meet any other Federal 
navigation requirement. Those certifications were made; and the U.S. 
Coast Guard will, commencing on or about February 8, 2010, implement 
plans to terminate the transmission of the Loran-C signal and commence 
a phased decommissioning of the Loran-C infrastructure. These plans 
include ending transmissions at 18 Loran stations located in the 
contiguous United States and 6 Loran stations in Alaska. The Department 
of Homeland Security anticipates that all Loran stations will cease 
transmitting the Loran-C signal by October 1, 2010.

DATES: Transmission of the Loran-C signal and phased decommissioning of 
the Loran-C infrastructure will commence on or about February 8, 2010. 
All Loran stations are expected to cease transmitting the Loran-C 
signal by October 1, 2010.

ADDRESSES: To view this notice go to http://www.regulations.gov, insert 
USCG-2009-0299 in the ``Keyword'' box, and then click ``Search.'' If 
you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online 
by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the 
ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an 
agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket 
Management Facility.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this notice, 
contact Mr. Mike Sollosi, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland 
Security, telephone (202) 372-1545, Mike.M.Sollosi@uscg.mil.


Background and Purpose

    The U.S. Loran-C system is a low frequency hyperbolic 
radionavigation system. A Loran-C receiver measures the slight 
difference in time it takes for pulsed signals to reach a ship or 
aircraft from the transmitting stations within a Loran-C chain to 
develop a navigational position. Loran-C is approved for use in the 
U.S. Coastal Confluence Zone and as a supplemental air navigation aid. 
Loran-C is operated and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.
    The Loran-C system was a valuable position and navigation system 
when it was established in 1957. As a result of technological 
advancements over the last 20 years and the emergence of the U.S. 
Global Positioning System (GPS), Loran-C is no longer required by the 
armed forces, the transportation sector, or the nation's security 
interests, and is used only by a small segment of the population.
    The Loran-C system was not established as, nor was it intended to 
be, a viable systemic backup for GPS. Backups to GPS for safety-of-life 
navigation applications, or other critical applications, can be other 
radionavigation systems, or operational procedures, or a combination of 
these systems and procedures. Backups to GPS for timing applications 
can be a highly accurate crystal oscillator or atomic clock and a 
communications link to a timing source that is traceable to Coordinated 
Universal Time.
    With respect to transportation to include aviation, commercial 
maritime, rail, and highway, the Department of Transportation has 
determined that sufficient alternative navigation aids currently exist 
in the event of a loss of GPS-based services, and therefore Loran 
currently is not needed as a back-up navigation aid for transportation 
safety-of-life users.
    The Department of Homeland Security will continue to work with 
other Federal agencies to look across the critical infrastructure and 
key resource sectors identified in the National Infrastructure 
Protection Plan assessment to determine if a single, domestic system is 
needed as a GPS backup for critical infrastructure applications 
requiring precise time and frequency. If a single, domestic national 
system to back up GPS is identified as being necessary, the Department 
of Homeland Security will complete an analysis of potential backups to 
GPS. The continued active operation of Loran-C is not necessary to 
advance this evaluation.
    On January 22, 2009 (74 FR 4047), the U.S. Coast Guard began a 
public review process for its Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact 
Statement (PEIS), under the National Environmental Policy Act, which 
evaluated the environmental impacts of several alternatives for the 
Loran-C system, including termination of the Loran-C signal. The U.S. 
Coast Guard considered comments received in response to the Draft PEIS 
and released a Final PEIS on June 12, 2009 (USCG-2007-28046). A public 
notice will be issued to announce the Record of Decision.
    This announcement is for the purpose of informing the public of the 
Coast Guard's intention to begin termination of the broadcast of the 
Loran-C signal starting on or about February 8, 2010. All Loran 
stations will cease transmission by October 1, 2010.
    The Department of Transportation was consulted regarding the 
preparation of this notice. This notice is issued under the authority 
of 6 U.S.C. 111, 14 U.S.C. 81, and 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Dated: January 4, 2009.
Kevin S. Cook,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Prevention Policy.
[FR Doc. 2010-83 Filed 1-6-10; 8:45 am]