The U.S. Coast Guard announced in the Federal Register its Record of Decision to decommission the Loran-C program and terminate the North American Loran signal as of Feb. 8, including stations in Caribou, Maine, and Nantucket, Mass. The Canadian-American Loran chain is bound by a bilateral agreement and will continue to transmit for a longer period. It is estimated that this signal will cease transmission in June of 2010.
The decommissioning and deactivation comes following a review of alternatives for the future of the Loran program. The first alternative was to do nothing and the second was to decommission and deactivate the system.
The review determined that continued investment in the Loran program was not in the county’s best interest, fiscally speaking, and was in accord with the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce spending and discontinue outdated services. Discontinuing the Loran program is expected to result in an offset of expenses of about $36 million in 2010 and $190 million over five years.
Operated by the Coast Guard, the 24 land-based Loran stations have served mariners and aviators for the last 52 years.