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Headlines: GPS WAAS Program on Course for Funding Increase; THUD Bill Features GPS Vehicle Tracking Provision; "GPS Act" Reintroduced in House 
GPS Bulletin

Information for Policymakers from the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT)

August 30, 2017

GPS WAAS Program on Course for Funding Increase

GPS and WAAS satellites transmitting signals over the United States

House and Senate appropriators recently approved their FY 2018 transportation bills, which propose increases in funding for FAA's GPS Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). WAAS is a satellite based system that improves the accuracy and safety of GPS for aircraft in North America. The Senate bill would add $8 million above FAA's $102.3 million request, while the House version would add $3 million. Both bills feature similar justifications for the increases, recommending "that development of the WAAS GEO 7 satellite system begin in fiscal year 2018 to ensure continuous sustainment of a full three-satellite WAAS navigation constellation."

The House report on the bill includes this direction on WAAS: "In the fiscal year 2017 appropriations Act, the Committee directed the FAA to begin algorithm development and test in support of dual frequency operations. In addition, the Committee recommended that the FAA dedicate sufficient funding to begin design, development, modeling and prototyping of the new dual frequency algorithms. The Committee directs the FAA to brief the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations on their plan for accomplishing this directed action within 120 days after enactment." The Senate version features similar direction to FAA but with a 90-day due date.

THUD Bill Features GPS Vehicle Tracking Provision

The House version of the FY 2018 funding measure for the Department of Transportation (DOT), HUD, and Related Agencies includes the following provision applicable to DOT.

  • Sec. 143. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to mandate global positioning system (GPS) tracking in private passenger motor vehicles without providing full and appropriate consideration of privacy concerns under 5 U.S.C. chapter 5, subchapter II.

Congress previously enacted identical language for Fiscal Years 2017, 2016, and 2015.

"GPS Act" Reintroduced in House

On July 27, 2017, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) reintroduced the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act in the House of Representatives following the resignation of its previous sponsor. The GPS Act seeks to establish a legal framework that gives government agencies, commercial entities, and private citizens clear guidelines for when and how geolocation information can be accessed and used. The bill would create a process whereby government agencies can get a probable cause warrant to obtain geolocation information in the same way that they currently get warrants for wiretaps or other types of electronic surveillance. In addition, the GPS Act would prohibit businesses from disclosing geographical tracking data about its customers to others without the customers' permission.

Get the Full Details at GPS.gov

View all the original sources of the above information at GPS.gov, along with bill status and other information:

www.gps.gov/congress

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This newsletter is produced and distributed by the National Coordination Office for Space-Based PNT, a central resource within the government for GPS policy information. The National Coordination Office highlights legislation for information only and does not endorse any pending legislation except where explicitly noted. For more information, visit www.gps.gov/congress.
You are receiving this newsletter because of your interest / involvement in legislative affairs that are pertinent to the Global Positioning System (GPS), which affects national defense, transportation, science & technology, energy & environment, commerce, communications, privacy, and many other aspects of society.

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