VOR/DME and LORAN Expansion

RCED-93-211R: Published: Aug 23, 1993. Publicly Released: Aug 23, 1993.

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GAO reviewed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) expansion plans for Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) and LORAN-C navigation systems, focusing on whether program expansion is necessary, since FAA plans to establish a satellite-based navigation system utilizing the Department of Defense's Global Positioning System (GPS). GAO found that: (1) although FAA has approved funding for and selected 70 new VOR/DME locations, VOR/DME expansion is questionable considering FAA future plans to implement GPS; (2) the existing FAA navigation system is expected to function adequately until GPS is fully operational; (3) LORAN-C expansion is questionable due to GPS rapid technological and procedural developments and the high costs of procuring LORAN-C equipment; and (4) FAA needs to reassess its need to continue VOR/DME and LORAN-C program expansion due to increasing budget constraints.