If you’re able to navigate in North America with LORAN-C after 8 February 2010 you’ll have Canada and the Russian Federation to thank. After 52 years the US will lose Loran-C coverage as part of cost-cutting measures and electronic navigation will be limited to GPS, itself causing concern in some quarters, until the European Gallileo system come online, scheduled for 2014.
LORAN-C was originally developed to provide radio-navigation service for US coastal waters later expanded to include complete coverage of the continental US as well as most of Alaska. Twenty-four US LORAN-C stations work in partnership with Canadian and Russian stations to provide coverage in Canadian waters and in the Bering Sea.
Five stations will remain live to meet bilateral agreements with Canada and Russia.
Over some 52 years the system provided better than 0.25 nautical mile absolute accuracy for suitably equipped users within the published areas. and provides navigation, location, and timing services for both civil and military air, land and marine users. It is approved as an en route supplemental air navigation system for both Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) and Visual Flight Rule (VFR) operations. The LORAN-C system serves the 48 continental states, their coastal areas, and parts of Alaska. Dedicated Coast Guard men and women have done an excellent job running and maintaining the LORAN-C signal for 52 years.
Sasy the US Coast Guard’s Navigation Center: “LORAN-C has, as a result of technological advancements in the last 20 years, became an antiquated system 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. The Coast Guard understands that LORAN-C is still used by a small segment of the public and that those users will have to shift to GPS or other systems; however, continued use of limited resources to operate LORAN-C is no longer prudent use of taxpayer funds and is not allowed under the 2010 DHS Appropriation Act.”