SPEAKING OF BALLOONS, Coast Guard officials seem to be sending up trial balloons on the prospect of terminating the U.S. loran system, even though loran is meant to continue on air until 2015, providing an overlap with GPS coverage.
"Our program office is having a lot of trouble justifying loran C and Omega in light of GPS," said a Coast Guard speaker at the radionavigation users conference in Washington last November.
"As stewards of the loran and Omega systems, we are scrutinizing the needs and requirements for both of these systems in light of the availability and acceptance of GPS," said Coast Guard Cmdr. Jean Butler in a recent interview. Unofficially, Coast Guard officials say they may find justification to shut down the loran systemat least the U.S. loran systembefore the end of the century.