[aprssig] TSA regs on GPS?

Jason D. Triolo jasonacg at citicom.com
Mon Jan 7 06:46:21 EST 2008

Alan P. Biddle wrote:
> Hi,
> A bit off topic, but I suspect many here travel with a regular GPS.  I
> checked the TSA and AA web site, but could not find anything, one way or
> another, concerning transporting a GPS and bean bag mount in carry on bags.
> Any experience, or definitive reference?

I've flown with a handheld GPS in the past, and the TSA has no issues 
with it. You will find that the policy varies greatly from one airline 
to another, as far as its usage is concerned.

I fly on United most frequently, and they have no objection to its use 
in flight. I always get a window seat, and I have the GPS propped up in 
the window to get enough satellites in view (the only way it will work). 
I've never had anyone tell me that it had to be turned off, and I've 
even had flight attendants come by to ask me how far we were from the 
airport :)

On the other hand, I've been on some carriers (American), where it is 
specifically named in the list of prohibited electronics. Delta had no 
problem in print, or on the five other Delta flights I had taken that 
month...but the last hour of the last flight home was suddenly a 
problem. I was too tired from hours of flying to challenge it.

So there's no problem getting it past the TSA, but clearly no common 
policy among the carriers. I would be prepared to treat it like a 
notebook computer past the TSA...have it in easy reach to power-on and 
prove what it really is. Since that handheld unit is part of my portable 
APRS kit, and I have my Kenwood D7 and related wiring in the same bag 
(but powered off in flight, of course), I'm always prepared to answer a 
few extra questions for the TSA lackeys.

73 de Jason, KD4ACG

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