AIS Class B in the USA, just “a matter of weeks”
Unlike last year, or last May, this morning’s GMDSS Task Force meeting seemed to yield good news about Class B AIS in the USA. The FCC has finally granted a waiver so that the various units already approved by the USCG can be sold and used even while further rulemaking takes place. The waiver needs to be reviewed by the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC), but FCC representative Ghassan Khalek said that would be done in “a matter of weeks, not months”. And publication in the Federal Register will not be necessary; the moment IRAC grants its blessing, CG and FCC approved AIS B units can be sold and used.
Why did I use the fudge word “seemed” in the first sentence? Well, a year ago Mr. Khalek told me that FCC Class B approval would be quick once the CG was done. So I double checked that “matter of weeks” quote with him as he exited the meeting. He nodded yes, smiled, and murmured a compliment about Panbo’s AIS coverage. Cool.