The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing changes to Parts 80 and 95 of their rules. The proposals include:
- require emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) to be capable of broadcasting position data when activated, which will improve the ability of rescue personnel to locate distressed ships;
- update the equipment standards for Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) to ensure that PLBs meet updated functional and technical parameters;
- authorize equipment certification and use of Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (SENDs) that comply with RTCM standards, providing for the use of additional technologies for safety of life and rescue scenarios;
- permit equipment certification and use of Maritime Survivor Locating Devices (MSLDs) that comply with RTCM standards, in order to enhance maritime safety;
- provide for equipment certification and use of Automatic Identification System Search and Rescue Transmitters (AIS-SARTs) that comply with international standards, which will contribute to maritime safety;
- clarify the rules regarding radar equipment;
- permit the use of portable marine VHF radio transmitters by persons on shore;
- permit VHF digital small message services (VDSMS) on certain maritime VHF channels;
- allow assignment or transfer of control of ship station licenses, removing a regulatory hurdle to secondary market transactions; and
- correct certain typographical errors.
You can submit comments on or before June 2, 2014, and reply comments are due on or before June 30, 2014.