The EGNOS Annual Workshop is an opportunity to catch up on the latest state-of-play and state-of-the-art in Europe’s satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS). Another year and again goals have been met, there are more and more users and EGNOS continues to forge forward in accuracy and reliability.
The EGNOS User Satisfaction Survey 2016 shows that users were happy with EGNOS' outstanding performance. The signal (Signal in Space) was available 100% of the time, with excellent monthly performance. Airport authorities spoke highly of the support offered to users, thanking for the speed of their response to any enquiries. GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides noted: “EGNOS has a good story to tell, we have 250 airports with more than 450 approach procedures.”
EDAS, which delivers data to users who cannot always view the EGNOS’ satellites (such as in urban canyons) or to support a variety of other value added services, applications and research programmes also worked well, with almost 99% availability.
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The workshop offered a chance to hear from users. Dominic Hysam from Easyjet said EGNOS brings great benefits: “It provides precise guidance at airports where we don’t get that currently. It can provide precision approaches at secondary airports; this benefits us from a safety perspective and allows us to operate in different weather conditions, improving accessibility at those airports.” There is ever increasing pressure on airlines to deliver reliable services to their customers. Hysam added: “EGNOS means we are better at getting customers to where they want to go.”
Alexander Desyllas of the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, which manages many airports, said: “We are encouraging all to adopt EGNOS now. It brings huge benefits, direct approaches and means not having to depend on conventional ground installations, this is a very important advantage.”
Other sectors are also reaping the benefits. Des Dorides said: “Even if civil aviation is the main natural-market segment, it is proving to be more and more valuable for other sectors, such as maritime and rail. Next year there will be a new regulation coming into place requiring EGNOS and Galileo capability on all new cars produced in Europe.”
Seventy-five percent of maritime receiver models are now SBAS enabled – in the agricultural sector, 80% of European GNSS enabled tractors are using EGNOS.
EGNOS is also reaching further afield. EGNOS technology has been made available to South Korea, to develop its own KASS system and related services. Julien Lapie, who works for the Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA), which manages a major part of the African and Indian Ocean airspace, said that EGNOS will bring huge benefits to flight efficiency and safety. Lapie said that this lent itself particularly well to airports in remote areas with difficult access, due to the unrequired local ground infrastructure and staff.
The GSA and EGNOS never stand still, Des Dorides said: “In the year ahead, we will start with a major technology development that will bring dual-frequency use; and the overlay on Galileo which will bring even more robust and accurate use. This will be ready in 2023-2025.”
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