Oct 24, 2008

World - India's air navigation system to be world's most sophisticated

HYDERABAD: By 2011, India will have arguably the most sophisticated satellite-based air navigation system in the world that will bring immense benef
its to both civilian and military aircraft, experts said.

Raytheon Company of the US is currently leading a team of companies to deliver a comprehensive solution for a global satellite navigation system to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Airports Authority of India.

The $196 mn or Rs.7.74 bn Global Positioning Satellite-Aided Geosynchronous Augmented Navigation system or GAGAN, to be implemented from the end of this year or early next year, will provide India with the most accurate, flexible and efficient air navigation system ever deployed.

"India had asked for the most sophisticated navigation system - even more sophisticated than what we have implemented in the US and Japan and we have shown that we are ready to deliver that," Raytheon's director of business development and strategic planning Fred A. Treyz III told media.

Treyz was here as part of Raytheon's delegation to the first civil aviation air show in India, the India Aviation 2008 held here Oct 15-18, 2008.

The GAGAN design is based on the experience that Raytheon gained while implementing the only certified space-based navigation augmentation systems in the world in the US and Japan.

The Wide Area Augmentation System, designed and developed by Raytheon and now being used in the US, was certified
and commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration of the US in July 2003.

The MTSAT Satellite Augmentation System also designed and developed by Raytheon was certified and commissioned by the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau in September 2007.

The European Union is currently implementing the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) but this system is yet to be certified.

No other nation or group of nations is deploying such sophisticated air navigation systems.

The other members of the Raytheon-led technology team are Accord Software and Systems Pvt. Ltd. of Bangalore,
Elcome Technologies Pvt. Ltd. of Gurgaon and Naverus Inc. of Kent, Washington.

Accord Software is providing Global Positioning System (GPS)-based user receiver prototype development optimized for the equatorial region, Elcome is providing logistical and on-site support and Naverus is providing performance-based navigation route design, procedure flight validation and other related services.

The project will provide straight-line fuel-efficient routes and precision approach landings, thereby reducing fuel burn substantially. It will also enable multiple approach capability.

GAGAN will also make it possible to provide coverage of oceanic areas, which is not possible by terrestrial systems; improve airport and airspace access in all weather conditions; enhance reliability and reduce delays; provide uniform and accurate navigation performance over the entire airspace; provide fuel efficient air corridors and provide CAT-I approach without ground element support.

Broadly, the project would result in fuel savings/efficiency for airlines and enable higher air traffic within the limited airspace

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