GSA, Eurocontrol Agree to Cooperate on GNSS-Based Efforts to Improve Air Navigation

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) and Eurocontrol have signed a new cooperation agreement to jointly contribute to the implementation of European Union GNSS policies as they apply to the field of aviation.

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) and Eurocontrol have signed a new cooperation agreement to jointly contribute to the implementation of European Union GNSS policies as they apply to the field of aviation.

As Europe’s skies and major airports become increasingly congested, air traffic management (ATM) technologies need to evolve from ground-based infrastructures to more advanced systems based on new technologies. Eurocontrol, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, and the GSA have agreed on various activities to achieve their shared objective of developing and exploiting European GNSS technology to improve accessibility, efficiency, and safety for European operators, pilots, and airports.

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 DG Enterprise and Industry at the Commission. “I am confident that a strong cooperation between the GSA and Eurocontrol will benefit aviation, the European GNSS Programs 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.”

Europe’s first GNSS program, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), which transmits differential GPS corrections and integrity messages, has been providing a certified safety service for aviation users since 2011. EGNOS is owned by the European Union and, since January 1, 2014, the GSA has been responsible for its exploitation, ensuring service provision, operations, maintenance and evolution.

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