ESA Creates Galileo Directorate, Appoints Oosterlinck - Inside GNSS

ESA Creates Galileo Directorate, Appoints Oosterlinck

René Oosterlinck, ESA Galileo Director

In an April 15 meeting, the Council of the European Space Agency (ESA) has created a Galileo Directorate to accommodate the agency’s newly enhanced role in Europe’s GNSS program.

Acting on recommendations of ESA’s Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, the council agreed to bring back René Oosterlinck, former head of the Navigation Department, to serve as the director of the Galileo program and navigation-related activities (D/GAL) through the end of 2010.

In an April 15 meeting, the Council of the European Space Agency (ESA) has created a Galileo Directorate to accommodate the agency’s newly enhanced role in Europe’s GNSS program.

Acting on recommendations of ESA’s Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, the council agreed to bring back René Oosterlinck, former head of the Navigation Department, to serve as the director of the Galileo program and navigation-related activities (D/GAL) through the end of 2010.

The council also selected Didier Faivre for appointment as Galileo director beginning January 1, 2011, for a term of four years. Faivre is currently ESA’s Head of the Navigation Department. The directorate office will be set up by June, according to Giuseppe Viriglio, ESA’s director of telecommunications and navigation.

The creation of a Galileo Directorate reflects the new role that ESA has taken on as the technical lead and procurement agent under the new public procurement plan for Galileo, following abandonment of the public-private partnership (PPP) approach last year.

In addition to implementation of the Galileo Program for the European Commission, the new directorate will focus on other related satellite navigation activities, including the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) that will be integrated into Galileo over the coming years.

A Belgian national, René Oosterlinck joined ESA in 1979 and has served as ESA Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations since June 2005. Before that, he was head of the Navigation Department for more than five years, dealing primarily with Galileo and EGNOS.

Faivre has more than 20 years’ experience in space-related activities, having joined the French Space Agency CNES in 1983. He moved to ESA in 2000 as the head of the coordination office within the Applications Directorate and became head of the Navigation Department in 2006.

In their April 15 action, the ESA council also created directorates for human spaceflight, science and robotic exploration, and telecommunications and integrated applications as part of a wider reorganization.