U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta and U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced the release of the 2001 Federal Radionavigation Plan (FRP), which continues to strengthen the US commitment to the Global Positioning System (GPS) and its modernization as a primary means of navigation in support of the U.S. transportation infrastructure.
The 2001 FRP includes revised schedules for phasing down most land-based radionavigation systems to allow more time to transition to GPS. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will continue the policy stated in the 1999 FRP to operate Loran-C in the short term while the administration continues to evaluate the long-term need for the system. DOT soon will be completing studies on Loran-C that will help make a decision on the system in 2002.
Beginning with this edition, federal radionavigation information previously contained in a single document will be published in two separate documents, the Federal Radionavigation Plan and a companion document entitled Federal Radionavigation Systems (FRS). The FRP includes the introduction, policies, operating plans, system selection considerations, and research and development sections, and will allow more efficient and responsive updates of policy and planning information. Sections relating to government roles and responsibilities, user requirements, and systems descriptions have been moved to the companion FRS and will be updated as necessary.
The FRP, a joint product of the Departments of Transportation and Defense, is mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 1998, which also requires that the plan be revised and updated at least every two years. Secretary Mineta commended DoD's continuing cooperation in producing this policy and planning document.
Free copies of the 2001 FRP/FRS are available on CD ROM from the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02142. The telephone number there is (617) 494-2908. The 2001 FRP is also on the Internet at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pubs/frp2001.