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New European satellite navigation service increases aviation safety

Commission Européenne - IP/11/247   02/03/2011

Autres langues disponibles: FR DE IT

IP/11/247

Brussels, 2 March 2011

New European satellite navigation service increases aviation safety

Today the European Commission launched the EGNOS “Safety-of-Life” service for aviation. The EGNOS system enables precision approaches and renders air navigation safer as well as helps reducing delays, diversions and cancellations of flights. In addition the free-to-use technology allows airports to increase their overall capacity and cut operating costs. EGNOS also enables the planning of shorter, more fuel efficient routes which will reduce the CO2 emissions of the industry. EGNOS is a satellite-based augmentation system which improves the accuracy of GPS signals across Europe and is the precursor of Galileo, the global satellite navigation system being developed by the European Union.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "I am very pleased to announce the launch of the EGNOS Safety-of-Life service, yet another tangible result of Europe’s investment in satellite navigation. It will considerably increase the safety of air navigation, provide economic benefits to airports and airlines, and help reduce CO2 emissions. The aviation industry can now take full advantage of the system."

EGNOS was launched in October 2009 and since then available for open applications such as personal navigation and precision farming. Following a certification and verification process, the system is from now on authorised also for use in aviation. The EGNOS Safety-of-Life service can provide the following advantages:

  • Increased aviation safety: EGNOS allows for precision approaches which significantly reduces safety risks, especially in poor weather conditions.

  • Lower operating costs: The EGNOS signal is provided free of charge and only requires a receiver aboard the aircraft. No ground infrastructure is required.

  • Lower CO2 emissions: EGNOS allows for more efficient plotting of flight routes and approaches resulting in a decrease in carbon emissions.

  • Less delays, diversions and cancellations: EGNOS allows lower aircraft separation distances during poor meteorological conditions, meaning fewer delays, diversions and cancellations of flights.

  • Less noise pollution: The optimised flight routes and 'curved approach' procedures made possible by EGNOS allow planes to commence their descent closer to the runway, limiting noise to the area near airports.

  • Increased capacity for smaller airports: The vertical guidance offered by the system means planes are able to land in restricted visibility conditions, increasing the capacity of airports, especially small and medium-sized airports that cannot afford the more expensive alternative technologies.

In order for the EGNOS Safety-of-Life service to be used, aircrafts need to be equipped with an EGNOS-enabled receiver and airports must have EGNOS-specific approach procedures for their runways.

Background

EGNOS – the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service - is made up of transponders aboard three geostationary satellites and an interconnected ground network of 40 positioning stations and four control centres. The EGNOS coverage area includes most European states and will be further extended.

For more information:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/satnav/egnos/safety-of-life-services/index_en.htm


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