First phase of GAGAN now DGCA certified

The first phase of the ambitious navigation system GAGAN has been certified by aviation regulator DGCA.

Paving the way for satellite-basedflight navigation over the vast airspace of India, its neighbours and surrounding high seas, the first phase of the ambitious navigation system GAGAN has been certified by aviation regulator DGCA.

The certification of the GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system is a major step to make it fully operational in the next few months.

The DGCA certification was done earlier this week, official sources said today, adding that the certification process started in October and involved examination of large number of technical issues and documentations.

GAGAN would enable aircraft fitted with satellite-based augmentation equipment to use its signals in space for enroute navigation and precision approach without vertical guidance over the huge air space.

Developed jointly by Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), GAGAN would expand India's navigation coverage not only over the national and neighbouring countries' airspace, but also over Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

The availability of GAGAN signal in space would bridge the gap between European Union's similar system EGNOS and Japan's MSAS coverage areas, thereby offering seamless navigation to the aviation industry.

India would be the fourth nation after the US, Europe and Japan to have such a sophisticated navigation system with wide area coverage.

GAGAN would also help pilots navigate in all-weather conditions by an accuracy of up to three metres, a capability that would enable landing aircraft in tough weather and terrain. The system would also allow an aircraft to fly on a specific path between two three-dimensional defined points, straighten routes and reduce fuel burn.

The operational testing of the system has been completed by AAI, including its final operational phase and a 30-day stability test in May-June. An ISRO statement said the GAGAN signal was being broadcast through two Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites – GSAT8 and GSAT10 – covering the whole Indian Flight Information Region (FIR) and beyond. An on-orbit spare GAGAN transponder will be flown on GSAT-15, it added.

The AAI has already trained the air traffic controllers to familiarise them with GAGAN as part of a mandatory requirement before DGCA certified the system. ISRO has launched two navigation satellites as part of the GAGAN project -- the first one being GSAT-8 which was launched on May 21, 2011, and the second GSAT-10, launched on September 29, 2012. In March 2011, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved a one-time grant of Rs 378 crore from budgetary support for GAGAN's implementation. CCEA had approved a total project cost of Rs 774 crore, of which AAI is slated to contribute Rs 604 crore and ISRO Rs 170 crore.

( Source : PTI )
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