Delta Air Lines Asks for One-Year Narrowbanding Extension (3/5/12)
Delta Air Lines (Delta) filed a waiver request for a limited extension of the FCC’s VHF and UHF narrowbanding deadline. Delta seeks a one-year extension of the deadline, until Dec, 31, 2013, for about 200 private land mobile radio (PLMR) stations at 120 airports.
The FCC is seeking comment on the request with comments due March 15 and reply comments due March 26. All filings should reference the docket number of this proceeding, WT 99-87. In particular, the commission is seeking comment from parties whose operations could be impacted by grant of the waiver.
The mandate requires PLMR licensees in the 150 – 174 MHz and 450 – 512 MHz bands to operate using channel bandwidth of no more than 12.5 kilohertz or equivalent efficiency by Jan. 1, 2013.
Delta provides air transportation service to more than 350 destinations in nearly 70 countries. The airline will need to replace or reprogram more than 7,100 repeaters, mobile and portable units and consoles to meet the PLMR narrowbanding mandate. Delta expects to complete narrowbanding for about 125 stations at 24 of its largest U.S. locations — comprising more than 60 percent of its fleet — by the end of 2012, and does not seek a waiver for those stations.
The company requested an extension of the narrowbanding deadline for the remaining stations because the size and complexity of its system will keep Delta from timely completing its narrowbanding efforts, which company officials said have been complicated by its merger with Northwest Airlines and the need to reband 800 MHz band systems at two airports.
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