Airports Authority of India conducts international workshop on harmonised satellite navigation
Last week, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) announced that it has now shared the significant benefits of advanced navigation system by offering GPS-aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Southeast Asian countries.
The move is in line with Indian Prime Minister’s objective of using technology for development and basis for co-operation.
AAI in conjunction with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had developed and deployed the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) which augments Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals through the use of additional satellite-broadcasting techniques.
Alongside the US, EU and Japan, India is amongst the only 4 nations in the world to develop and deploy this satellite navigation technology that removes the signal errors from GNSS and provides highly precise navigation signals to the users.
Implementing an SBAS system is a long-term investment for India, which aims to improve operational efficiencies to the civil aviation industry and non-aviation sectors that require precise navigation, positioning and timing signals, including smart cities, intelligent transportation, town-planning, maritime, highways, railways, surveying, security, and telecommunications.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a directive mandating GAGAN equipage on all Indian registered aircraft entering the country on or after 1st January 2019 and is also examining the feasibility of issuing a mandate for retrofitting of the current Indian registered aircraft.
On 15th and 16th March, AAI conducted a 2-day workshop for civil aviation representatives from SAARC and Southeast Asian nations to appraise them of the performance and benefits of GAGAN and provide them with hands-on experience of the functioning of the system.
The workshop was inaugurated by Secretary R. N. Choubey from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and AAI Chairman Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra delivered the keynote address.
Chairman of AAI Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra stated that the system had been designed with adequate capabilities to be able to cater to the needs of the Asia Pacific region. He hoped that the countries across the region collaborate to operationalize Asia’s SBAS in a time bound manner.
During the workshop, AAI, ISRO and DGCA shared their perspectives and learnings from the development, deployment and certification of the GAGAN system.
Leading aircraft and receiver manufacturers such as Airbus, Bombardier, BELL helicopters, Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and Accord also provided insights on the readiness and application of GAGAN enablement in various aircraft types.
KPMG also presented a business case to prove that GAGAN is not only a viable alternative to the current land-based navigational aids, but also a highly efficient option.
The conference was followed by a visit to the Master Control Center at Nangloi, Delhi. The representatives of neighbouring countries were shown the infrastructure that has been built to ensure operational integrity of the GAGAN service.