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FAA to Pilots Around Las Vegas: ‘Your GPS Won’t Work Here’

May 19, 2011

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May 19, 2011

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a warning to pilots that GPS navigation systems used within a 350-mile radius of Las Vegas, Nevada, will likely be “unreliable or unavailable” late at night because a company called LightSquared is field testing a nationwide wireless broadband network of 40,000 transmitters and cell towers southeast of Sin City.

LightSquared worked with the Federal Communications Commission to negotiate the deal, which gives the company rights to frequencies that are very close to those used for GPS.

While some pilots are taking issue with the warning, Dick Knapinski—a spokesman for the Experimental Aircraft Association—said, "It's like if you are in your car or truck and you've been relying on GPS to get someplace, but you might want to make sure you still have a map in your car and get it out.”

Rather than GPS, pilots are encouraged to use radio signals from FAA ground stations around the Las Vegas area.

The warning only applies to planes flying from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., says Jeffrey Carlyle, LightSquared's executive vice president.

Read more.

Do you think it’s safe for pilots to have their GPS systems unavailable to them while flying in and around Las Vegas?

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, contact the national aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy.

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