FCC Cancels 121.5 MHz ELT Prohibition

SUMMARY: On January 10, 2011, the Federal Communication Commission formally stayed their rule on the prohibition on the certification, manufacture, importation, sale or use of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) that transmit distress alerts on frequency 121.5 MHz.2.

The FCC has taken this action at the request of the Federal Aviation Administration.  They (the FCC) are planning a new Notice requesting public comment on the future of legacy 121.5 ELTs to be released sometime in early 2011. Click here to view Jan. 10, 2011 Order.

While the Association, along with the operator’s user groups, challenged the Commission’s prohibition on the continued use of existing 121.5 MHz ELTs, the Association is disappointed that the FAA would oppose the further manufacturing and sale of an obsolete technology.  Clearly, the FAA’s decision and petition to the FCC did not follow their often cited “in house” Safety Management System for risk management!

Contact Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs, by email at ricp@aea.net or by phone at 202-589-1144.