Termination of LORAN-C
LORAN-C was a ground-based navigation system operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. In 2009, the President declared the system obsolete and announced plans to terminate it.
Congress debated whether the LORAN-C infrastructure should be retained and upgraded to become eLORAN, a national backup to GPS. The debates occurred during the development of two separate bills related to the Coast Guard.
The debates ended in 2009 with the signing of an appropriations act allowing the Coast Guard to cease operation of LORAN-C. The Coast Guard did so in 2010.
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010
President Obama signed this act into law on October 28, 2009.
Section 559 allows termination of LORAN-C after:
- The Coast Guard Commandant certifies the termination will not adversely impact maritime safety; and
- The Secretary of Homeland Security certifies the LORAN-C infrastructure is not needed as a backup to GPS or to meet any other federal navigation requirement.
LORAN-C began shutting down in February 2010, following the necessary certifications.
Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010
President Obama signed this act into law on October 15, 2010.
Early versions called for the maintenance of LORAN-C and its upgrade to eLORAN as a supplemental navigation system for the United States.
After passing the DHS appropriations act terminating LORAN-C, Congress amended the Coast Guard authorization act to eliminate all direct references to the system.
Section 219 of the final law directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to conclude a study of whether a single, domestic system is needed as a backup navigation system to GPS.