Air navigation: India developing ground-based augmentation system

PTI New Delhi | Updated on July 21, 2011 Published on July 21, 2011

As part of efforts to upgrade air traffic management in the country, the Airports Authority of India has launched the process of implementing a critical safety system that uses the global positioning system (GPS) for safe navigation of flights.

This is part of the implementation of the GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system that would improve air navigation, not only over the Indian airspace but also the airspace over the Indian Ocean region from Southeast Asia to the African shores.

A MoU to implement the ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) as a pilot project at Chennai airport was signed by the AAI and the US Trade Development Agency (USTDA) here recently.

GBAS is a critical safety system that uses GPS for efficient and safe navigation to aid landings, take-offs and surface operations within its area of coverage.

With the implementation of GBAS, India would join a select group of countries which have implemented the technology, an AAI official said.

The GBAS aids landing based on inputs provided through the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) that enables simultaneous landings of aircraft on multiple runways while meeting the precisions of the Category-I to Category-III Instrument Landing Systems.

The signing of the MoU followed the successful positioning of the satellite to operate the GAGAN system that would offer seamless navigation to air traffic over the Indian Ocean and the Indian airspace. AAI and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are developing GAGAN.

“We are now going through the certification stage of the Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) and we will have certification of the system by June 2013,” the AAI Chairman, Mr V.P. Aggarwal, said recently.

Along with the trials, GAGAN’s certification process is being carried out with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and other bodies.

India would become the fourth in the world to adopt this system which would enhance the accuracy and integrity of GPS signals to meet precision approach requirements in civil aviation, official sources said.

The system would be compatible with other SBAS like WAAS of the US, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service and the Multi-functional Satellite Augmentation System of Japan, providing seamless air navigation service across regional boundaries.

Once operational, GAGAN would provide augmented information for satellite navigation to aircraft flying over Indian airspace and routes over high seas with high level of accuracy, integrity and continuity during the entire flight operations — from take-off to landing, they said.

The GAGAN transmitter is to be integrated with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) to provide an SBAS over Indian airspace.

The project is currently in the final operational phase and is scheduled to be completed by June 2013.

Published on July 21, 2011
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