But FCC asks for comment on whether one year is too short, too long or if there should be a transition period at all from a cost and safety standpoint. FCC also asked that if it were to permit the continued sale of the units, should there be additional requirements – such as special labeling – to ensure purchasers are aware that 121.5 MHz ELTs are not satellite monitored.
FCC also explores whether it should adopt a date prohibiting the use. “Should they be grandfathered indefinitely so that they would need to be replaced only at the end of their useful life or for a specific limited period of time?” FCC asks.
FCC requests information on costs associated with a mandatory transition to 406 MHz. Past estimates have ranged between $300 million -$500 million. The agency is also seeking comment on potential problems with available inventory.
Other areas where FCC is seeking information include whether continued used of 121.5 MHz fosters an “unwarranted reliance on the ELTS, whether education outreach is necessary, and whether other equipment – such as ADS-B – could be used in place of 406 MHz ELTs.
While FCC is hoping to push forward with a ban, it is also looking for comment on residual safety benefits of 121.5 MHz.