Monday, September 10, 2001
Contact: Bill Adams
Tel.: (202) 366-5580
DOT Releases Report Assessing Vulnerability Of Transportation Infrastructure Relying on Global Positioning System
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today released the results of a study
assessing the vulnerability of the national transportation
infrastructure that relies on the Global Positioning System (GPS).
The study notes that GPS is susceptible to unintentional disruption from such causes as atmospheric effects, signal blockage from buildings, and interference from communications equipment, as well as to potential deliberate disruption. It contains a number of recommendations to address the possibility of disruption and ensure the safety of the national transportation infrastructure.
The report was mandated by a Presidential Decision Directive and prepared by the DOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.
report provides a roadmap for addressing possible vulnerabilities in GPS
so that we can continue maintaining the highest standards of
transportation safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y.
Mineta. “The Department
of Transportation takes this report’s findings very seriously, and we
will be working to ensure that GPS will fulfil its potential as a key
element of the nation’s transportation infrastructure.”
Secretary Mineta charged the administrators of each DOT operating administration to thoroughly review this report and consider the adequacy of backup systems for each area of operation in which GPS is being used for critical transportation applications. The administrators are to report their findings back to the Secretary within 60 days.
DOT, in consultation with the Department of Defense (DOD), sponsored the study to assure the continued safe operation of the U.S. transportation system. All modes of transportation are increasingly reliant on GPS and, according to the study, GPS is susceptible to various forms of interference. This study identified transportation operations that employ GPS, methods for GPS disruption, possible impacts to transportation safety, and approaches to ensure service reliability. Among the report’s recommendations:
In addition to the review of backup systems, the findings will initially be used by DOT’s operating administrations to strengthen safety-critical areas that have an impact on aviation, maritime, railroads, and intelligent transportation systems. DOT will work with DOD to take appropriate steps to address GPS vulnerability in order to assure safe, secure transportation.
The department will soon announce a public meeting, to be held in early October, to solicit views on the study. An additional public meeting will be scheduled by mid-December to present the department’s response to the study’s recommendations.
The report, Vulnerability Assessment of the Transportation Infrastructure Relying on the Global Positioning System, has been made available to the public to improve user awareness of the vulnerabilities of GPS and avoid over-reliance on GPS in safety-critical situations. It may be obtained through the Coast Guard Navigation Center website at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/.