United States Policy
Since the 1980s, multiple U.S. presidents have issued consistent policies encouraging the worldwide use of GPS for peaceful purposes. Congress has enacted elements of these policies as permanent law.
The stability and transparency of U.S. policy, combined with a long track record of dependable GPS service, have laid a solid foundation for investment and innovation in GPS technology. As a result, the commercial use of GPS technology has flourished, transforming the way we live and work today.
GPS Policy Highlights
President Obama's National Space Policy of 2010 states,
“The United States must maintain its leadership in the service, provision, and use of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).”
The government achieves this goal in a number of ways, including:
Free Access for Civilian Use
The U.S. government provides civilian access to GPS on a continuous, worldwide basis, free of direct user fees. It also provides open, free access to the information needed to develop GPS user equipment. View information...
Management of GPS as a National Asset
The GPS program receives national-level attention and guidance through a joint civil/military body established by presidential directive. Learn more...
Joint Program Funding
The bulk of the GPS program is budgeted through the Department of Defense, but the Department of Transportation also contributes funding to support civilian GPS requirements. Learn more...
To meet growing demands and stay competitive internationally, the U.S. government is committed to a long-term modernization program that will improve GPS performance, including more robust resistance to interference. Learn more...
The United States encourages other nations to develop satellite navigation services and systems based on GPS. The U.S. government seeks to ensure international systems are interoperable with civil GPS services and do not interfere with GPS operations. Learn more...
Denying Hostile Use
It is U.S. policy to prevent hostile use of GPS through localized denial (i.e., military jamming) that does not unduly disrupt civil and commercial GPS access outside the battlefield. The United States no longer uses Selective Availability to degrade civil GPS accuracy. Learn more...
The U.S. government works to minimize human sources of GPS interference through spectrum regulations, interference detection and mitigation efforts, and law enforcement. Learn more...
30 Years of Civil GPS Access Commitments
September 16, 2013, marked the 30th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan's original commitment to make GPS available to civilians. He made the commitment in a press statement following the tragic loss of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, which was shot down after straying into Soviet airspace.Read the 1983 statement