Europe to extend reach of satellite navigation

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) and Eurocontrol have signed a new cooperation agreement to help implement European Union GNSS policies as they apply to the field of aviation.
As Europe’s skies and major airports become increasingly congested, there is need for air traffic management (ATM) technologies to evolve from ground-based infrastructures to more advanced systems based on new technologies.
Eurocontrol and the GSA have a shared objective in developing and exploiting European GNSS technology to improve accessibility, efficiency and safety to European operators, pilots and airports.
To accomplish this objective, the agreement focuses on a range of activities, including:

  • Definition of aviation user requirements for EGNOS and Galileo
  • Introduction of European GNSS services for aviation within the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) area
  • Coordination in aviation research and development
  • Aviation-specific GNSS performance monitoring
  • Promotion of European GNSS aviation activities at the international level

“This is another example of European Commission support of the aviation sector,” says Daniel Calleja Crespo, director general of enterprise and industry at the European Commission. “I am confident that a strong cooperation between the GSA and Eurocontrol will benefit aviation, the European GNSS programmes and indeed European citizens.”
“The full deployment of GNSS offers unprecedented opportunities to further improve air traffic management safety and capacity, while reducing costs at pan-European level,” says GSA Executive Director, Carlo des Dorides. “Eurocontrol’s activities in this field will complement those of the GSA to ensure that the development and implementation of satellite-based navigation provides an optimal solution for European airspace users.”
“Eurocontrol and the GSA share a common objective – the secure and safe implementation of European satellite navigation policies in the aviation sector. The enhanced cooperation between our two organisations means that Eurocontrol will now bring its unequalled capacity to understand, coordinate and represent the needs of the civil and military airspace users to the promotion and development of GNSS.” says Frank Brenner, director general of Eurocontrol.
EGNOS is Europe’s first venture into satellite navigation and has been providing a certified safety service for aviation users since 2011. EGNOS is owned by the European Union and, since 1 January 2014, the GSA is responsible for its exploitation, ensuring service provision, operations, maintenance and evolution.
As an official European Union Regulatory Agency, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) manages public interests related to European GNSS programmes. The Agency’s strategic objectives include the achievement of a fully operational GALILEO system. This includes the laying of foundations for a fully sustainable and economically viable system and its security.
EUROCONTROL, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, has as its primary objective to develop a seamless, pan-European air traffic management (ATM) system that fully copes with the growth in air traffic, while maintaining a high level of safety, reducing costs and respecting the environment.