At 2000 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) – or 3pm east coast time – on February 8, the U.S. Coast Guard will cease transmission of the United States Loran-C signal and will commence a phased decommissioning of the infrastructure that has supported the system for the past 52-years.
Loran, meaning Long Range Navigation, was originally developed to provide radionavigation service for U.S. coastal waters & was later expanded to include complete coverage of the continental U.S. as well as most of Alaska. Twenty-four U.S. Loran-C stations work in partnership with Canadian and Russian stations to provide coverage in Canadian waters and in the Bering Sea.
But, as a result of technological advancements in the last 20 years – specifically the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS), Loran has become an antiquated system that is no longer required by the armed forces, the transportation sector or the nation’s security interests and is used only by a small percentage of the population. Those legacy users are being encouraged to make the switch to GPS in preparation for the transmission termination on February 8.