New Delhi. India has launched GAGAN, a highly sophisticated GPS-aided aircraft navigation system for civil flights.
Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju formally launched GAGAN, or GPS-aided Geo Augmented Navigation System, July 13, and congratulated the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) team that developed it. The system will provide seamless connectivity to aircraft flying from India’s west to east and vice versa, and help enhance flight safety not only over the Indian skies but around the Indian subcontinent.
Similar systems are in place in Dubai and Texas as part of a new generation of global connectivity systems that have been encouraged by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Notably, in India, the ground facilities for GAGAN have been designed by the US military systems and radar technology giant Raytheon. The company’s India head Nik Khanna described the launch as “a technological milestone” for civil aviation in India.
According to an official statement, GAGAN is the first SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation System) in the world certified for Approach with Vertical Guidance operating in the Equatorial Ionospheric region and the third SBAS to have achieved this feat, after WAAS of US and EGNOS of Europe. GAGAN was already certified for en route operation since December 30, 2013.
GAGAN is a joint effort of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). In the aviation field, GAGAN will support more direct air routes, reduce fuel consumption and improve safety. In addition, GAGAN provides benefits to agriculture, all modes of transportation and public services such a defence services, security agencies and disaster recovery management by aiding in search and rescue to locate the disaster zone accurately.
Significantly, since February 14, 2014, GAGAN has been continuously providing navigation signals from GSAT-8 and GSAT-10 satellites launched by ISRO, augmenting the performance of GPS signals received over Indian Airspace.
Present at the launch ceremony were Mr RN Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Mrs M Sathiyavathy, Director General of Civil Aviation, Mr RK Srivastava, Chairman, Airports Authority of India and Dr YVN Krishnamurthy, Scientific Secretary, ISRO.
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