FCC halts pursuit of 121.5 MHz ELT banJanuary 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment
by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stayed a rule Jan. 11 that would have prohibited the certification, manufacture, importation, sale, or use of 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs).
The rule, if enacted, would have required the replacement of 121.5 MHz ELTs with 406 MHz ELTs at a direct cost to aircraft owners. It could have also caused a shortage of the 406 MHz ELTs, leading to the potential grounding of aircraft until such time as units became available. After the commission released notice of the rule June 15 on its website, AOPA immediately expressed concern to the FCC and FAA, coordinated with other aviation groups, and provided information about ELTs to members of Congress. In a letter to the FCC in June, the association highlighted its concerns and asked the FCC to rescind the rule and engage the aviation industry. The FCC stayed the prohibition at the request of the FAA, acknowledging concerns shared by AOPA and others.