FCC bans 121.5 ELTs starting in August


Sam Hoskins
 

*FCC BANS 121.5
ELTS<http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/FCCBans1215ELTs_202760-1.html>
*
The Federal Communications Commission took the general aviation world by
surprise when it said in a recent
report<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103500294837&s=1458&e=001M6yc39mJFVF4-fVIt75XGecNDZbley9ii0QmGoSxeHCJrhR7Zni3UgFXolrO1ImXhsnHndlNQtzTcVcv-UIrwc5r-DKH4P6cT7Lgjv9vb9vjVF0VMtHoCV8SzrHwfoLJzAGEbN-bFISS27c1pfT5p35CZSVeilT-tZaFdBSkMYfxnqdWGTYCTQ==>it
will prohibit the sale or use of 121.5 MHz emergency locator
transmitters, effective in August. The Aircraft Electronics
Association said<http://aea.net/governmentaffairs/regulatoryupdates.asp?ID=42>it
just learned of the new rule today, and has begun working with the
FAA,
FCC and others to allow for timely compliance without grounding thousands of
general aviation aircraft. The 121.5 ELTs are allowed under FAA rules. The
FCC said its rules have been amended to "prohibit further certification,
manufacture, importation, sale or use of 121.5 MHz ELTs." The FCC says that
if the 121.5 units are no longer available, aircraft owners and operators
will "migrate" to the newer 406.0-406.1 MHz ELTs, which are monitored by
satellite, while the 121.5 frequency is not. "Were we to permit continued
marketing and use of 121.5 MHz ELTs ... it would engender the risk that
aircraft owners and operators would mistakenly rely on those ELTs for the
relay of distress alerts," the FCC says. AOPA said
today<http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/articles/2010/100621elt.html>it is
opposed to the rule change.
"The FCC is making a regulatory change that would impose an extra cost on GA
operators, without properly communicating with the industry or understanding
the implications of its action," said AOPA Vice President of Regulatory
Affairs Rob Hackman. "There is no FAA requirement to replace 121.5 MHz units
with 406 MHz technology. When two government agencies don't coordinate, GA
can suffer." The AEA said dealers should refrain from selling any new 121.5
MHz ELTs "until further understanding of this new prohibition can be
understood and a realistic timeline for transition can be established."






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