Join Date: Jan 2007
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
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I guess if you have a LORAN receiver and live in an area of coverage, then having the government keep LORAN transmitting is a good deal. For those without a receiver, and unable to buy one, or at a competitive price and who live outside LORANs coverage - the government need not spend the money.
The US Navy quit supporting the system and cleverly sold the European chain to the Europeans. The Europeans discovered it needed upgrading to keep working and did so for a few years. Then the enthusiam wained as they discovered how few users there were. The Irish had the EC pay for a new station, but they did not switch it on, as the locals complained about the effect on their potatoes. The Germans put their station on offer to anyone who wanted to take over its expense. France wants to keep it for their military, just in case the US do something clever with GPS in the Bay of Biscay. The British never had a LORAN station, but they found an old BBC radio tower at Rugby, which might make a handy start, so Trinity House is now strongly supporting it - because GPS is soooooo vulnerable (one sneeze and its gone). I hear the Japanese have a bit of a chain too, plus the Russians have a slightly incompatible copy. I hear the US LORAN lobbyists say that the Europeans have an enhanced system operational, but try buying a non-experimental receiver for it - still none on sale. On this side of the pond, the lobbyists point to the great progress the FAA is making on adopting LORAN for aviation. More smoke and mirrors. If LORAN was not a system past its time, the US Navy would have kept it.
PS: Around here, lighthouses are being disused and virtual bouys introduced as AIS messages.