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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of Science and Technology Policy
National Security Council
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 1996
Contact: (202) 456-6020
U.S. GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM POLICY
The President has approved a comprehensive national policy on the future
management and use of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and related
U.S. Government augmentations.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) was designed as a dual-use system with
the primary purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of U.S. and allied military
forces. GPS provides a substantial military advantage and is now being
integrated into virtually every facet of our military operations. GPS is
also rapidly becoming an integral component of the emerging Global Information
Infrastructure, with applications ranging from mapping and surveying to
international air traffic management and global change research. The growing
demand from military, civil, commercial, and scientific users has generated
a U.S. commercial GPS equipment and service industry that leads the world.
Augmentations to enhance basic GPS services could further expand these
civil and commercial markets.
The basic GPS is defined as the constellation of satellites, the navigation
payloads which produce the GPS signals, ground stations, data links, and
associated command and control facilities which are operated and maintained
by the Department of Defense; the Standard Positioning Service (SPS) as
the civil and commercial service provided by the basic GPS; and augmentations
as those systems based on the GPS that provide real-time accuracy greater
than the SPS.
This policy presents a strategic vision for the future management and
use of GPS, addressing a broad range of military, civil, commercial, and
scientific interests, both national and international.
In the management and use of GPS, we seek to support and enhance our economic
competitiveness and productivity while protecting U.S. national security
and foreign policy interests.
Our goals are to:
Strengthen and maintain our national security.
Encourage acceptance and integration of GPS into peaceful civil, commercial
and scientific applications worldwide.
Encourage private sector investment in and use of U.S. GPS technologies
Promote safety and efficiency in transportation and other fields.
Promote international cooperation in using GPS for peaceful purposes.
Advance U.S. scientific and technical capabilities.
We will operate and manage GPS in accordance with the following guidelines:
We will continue to provide the GPS Standard Positioning Service for peaceful
civil, commercial and scientific use on a continuous, worldwide basis,
free of direct user fees.
It is our intention to discontinue the use of GPS Selective Availability
(SA) within a decade in a manner that allows adequate time and resources
for our military forces to prepare fully for operations without SA. To
support such a decision, affected departments and agencies will submit
recommendations in accordance with the reporting requirements outlined
in this policy.
The GPS and U.S. Government augmentations will remain responsive to the
National Command Authorities.
We will cooperate with other governments and international organizations
to ensure an appropriate balance between the requirements of international
civil, commercial and scientific users and international security interests.
We will advocate the acceptance of GPS and U.S. Government augmentations
as standards for international use.
To the fullest extent feasible, we will purchase commercially available
GPS products and services that meet U.S. Government requirements and will
not conduct activities that preclude or deter commercial GPS activities,
except for national security or public safety reasons.
A permanent interagency GPS Executive Board, jointly chaired by the Departments
of Defense and Transportation, will manage the GPS and U.S. Government
augmentations. Other departments and agencies will participate as appropriate.
The GPS Executive Board will consult with U.S. Government agencies, U.S.
industries and foreign governments involved in navigation and positioning
system research, development, operation, and use.
This policy will be implemented within the overall resource and policy
guidance provided by the President.
Agency Roles and Responsibilities
The Department of Defense will:
Continue to acquire, operate, and maintain the basic GPS.
Maintain a Standard Positioning Service (as defined in the Federal Radionavigation
Plan and the GPS Standard Positioning Service Signal Specification) that
win be available on a continuous, worldwide basis.
Maintain a Precise Positioning Service for use by the U.S. military and
other authorized users.
Cooperate with the Director of Central Intelligence, the Department of
State and other appropriate departments and agencies to assess the national
security implications of the use of GPS, its augmentations, and alternative
satellite-based positioning and navigation systems.
Develop measures to prevent the hostile use of GPS and its augmentations
to ensure that the United States retains a military advantage without unduly
disrupting or degrading civilian uses.
The Department of Transportation will:
Serve as the lead agency within the U.S. Government for all Federal civil
Develop and implement U.S. Government augmentations to the basic GPS for
In cooperation with the Departments of Commerce, Defense and State, take
the lead in promoting commercial applications of GPS technologies and the
acceptance of GPS and U.S. Government augmentations as standards in domestic
and international transportation systems.
In cooperation with other departments and agencies, coordinate U.S. Government-provided
GPS civil augmentation systems to minimize cost and duplication of effort.
The Department of State will:
In cooperation with appropriate departments and agencies, consult with
foreign governments and other international organizations to assess the
feasibility of developing bilateral or multilateral guidelines on the provision
and use of GPS services.
Coordinate the interagency review of instructions to U.S. delegations to
bilateral consultations and multilateral conferences related to the planning,
operation, management, and use of GPS and related augmentation systems.
Coordinate the interagency review of international agreements with foreign
governments and international organizations concerning international use
of GPS and related augmentation systems.
Beginning in 2000, the President will make an annual determination on continued
use of GPS Selective Availability. To support this determination, the Secretary
of Defense, in cooperation with the Secretary of Transportation, the Director
of Central Intelligence, and heads of other appropriate departments and
agencies, shall provide an assessment and recommendation on continued SA
use. This recommendation shall be provided to the President through the
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Assistant
to the President for Science and Technology.