Editor's Log

August 2010 Issue

Do We Really Need ELTs?

In June, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a regulatory document stating, in part, "The manufacture, importation, sale or use of 121.5 MHz ELTs is prohibited." Relax: At this writing, the ban has not gone into effect and cannot until at least early September. Although the FCC’s action apparently caught many unawares, it was telegraphed as long ago as 2001. The ban comes on the heels of—and is partly justified by—the February 2009 cessation of satellite-based monitoring of 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters by the responsible international organization. The present lack of satellite-based monitoring shouldn’t be anything new to pilots or operators.

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