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IP/10/1158

Brussels, 22 September 2010

Agreement with Norway on two Galileo ground stations

Norway will play an active role in the Galileo satellite programme, Europe’s global navigation satellite system which will provide more precise and more widely available positioning signals to citizens in Europe and across the globe. Further to a Cooperation Agreement signed today Norway will host two ground stations for Galileo. Norwegian industries will also be allowed to supply some niche technologies for Galileo

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: “I welcome Norway on board of this European flagship. This co-operation will not only help to provide better results of the Galileo navigation services. It will also open up a series of business opportunities for small and medium seized enterprises both from Norway and the EU".

With this Agreement, Norwegian industries will be allowed to supply some niche technologies for Galileo and Norway will be more actively involved in the institutions and committees that participate to the governance of the programme. Norway will also contribute about €70 million to the programme. . The agreement was signed by DG Enterprise Director General Heinz Zourek for the European Commission and by Mrs Oda Helen Sletnes, the Norwegian ambassador to the EU for the Kingdom of Norway.

The European Commission will be able to install two ground stations for Galileo in Norway, one on the island of Svalbard and one on Norwegian Antarctic Territory. Norway commits to protecting the Galileo radio frequencies from disruption and interference and to protecting the Galileo ground facilities from intrusion.

Noteworthy, Norway had already contributed technically and financially to the development phase of Galileo through its membership in the European Space Agency.

The Cooperation Agreement covers the general principles of cooperation and the rights and obligations of Norway in areas that are not part of the existing Galileo acquis, especially those related to security, ground stations and radio spectrum.

Background

Galileo is Europe's initiative for a state-of-the-art global navigation satellite system that will secure Europe's political independence in a sector that has become critical for both its economy and the well-being of its citizens. Together with the American GPS and the Russian Glonass, with which it will be interoperable, Galileo will provide more precise and more widely available positioning signals.

Galileo also translates into additional business and job opportunities in Europe, in the space-related industries but also in the sectors of satellite receivers and satellite navigation applications. The fully deployed system will consist of 30 satellites orbiting the earth and the related ground infrastructure.

Galileo will start operating in 2014 with an initial constellation of 18 satellites. This will allow the provision of three preliminary services, namely the:

  • Open Service for normal navigation applications (enhanced GPS),

  • the Search-And-Rescue Service for rescue operations and

  • the encrypted Public Regulated Service for use by the authorities.

For more information about Galileo, please visit:

http://ec.europa.eu/galileo

http://satellite-navigation.eu


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