Pilots try to ground Harbinger’s LightSquared service

By Britt Erica Tunick

Thu Jul 28, 2011

Opponents say LightSquared’s transmissions would make it nearly impossible for GPS devices to function. “Even at the new transmission levels…it would be like looking for the stars in the noonday sun.”

As Phil Falcone struggles to convince investors that Harbinger Capital Partners’ investment in broadband company LightSquared will ultimately pay off, he is faced with an unlikely opponent in the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. The AOPA is just one of several organizations that have been rallying their members and connections to oppose the interference that implementation of LightSquared’s wireless network could mean for global positioning systems around the country. The organization’s efforts have not gone without notice.

A nonprofit political organization with membership of more than 400,000 U.S. general aviation pilots, the AOPA is among several groups and businesses that would be affected if LightSquared’s network were allowed to go live in its current format—a fact the association has successfully conveyed with the help of its political action committee. The AOPA PAC has garnered support from several key members of Congress who have weighed in on the issue by calling...

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H

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