New European Satellite Navigation Service Increases Aviation Safety

By European Commission, PRNE
Thursday, March 3, 2011

BRUSSELS, March 4, 2011 - On 2 March, the European Commission launched the EGNOS "Safety-of-Life"
service for aviation. The EGNOS system enables precision approaches and
renders air navigation safer as well as helps reducing delays, diversions and
cancellations of flights. In addition the free-to-use technology allows
airports to increase their overall capacity and cut operating costs. EGNOS
also enables the planning of shorter, more fuel efficient routes which will
reduce the CO2 emissions of the industry. EGNOS is a satellite-based
augmentation system which improves the accuracy of GPS signals across Europe
and is the precursor of Galileo, the global satellite navigation system being
developed by the European Union.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for
Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "I am very pleased to announce the
launch of the EGNOS Safety-of-Life service, yet another tangible result of
Europe's investment in satellite navigation. It will considerably increase
the safety of air navigation, provide economic benefits to airports and
airlines, and help reduce CO2 emissions. The aviation industry can now take
full advantage of the system."

EGNOS was launched in October 2009 and since then available for open
applications such as personal navigation and precision farming. Following a
certification and verification process, the system is from now on authorised
also for use in aviation. The EGNOS Safety-of-Life service can provide the
following advantages:

    - Increased aviation safety: EGNOS allows for precision approaches which
      significantly reduces safety risks, especially in poor weather

    - Lower operating costs: The EGNOS signal is provided free of charge and
      only requires a receiver aboard the aircraft. No ground infrastructure
      is required.

    - Lower CO2 emissions: EGNOS allows for more efficient plotting of flight
      routes and approaches resulting in a decrease in carbon emissions.

    - Less delays, diversions and cancellations: EGNOS allows lower aircraft
      separation distances during poor meteorological conditions, meaning
      fewer delays, diversions and cancellations of flights.

    - Less noise pollution: The optimised flight routes and 'curved approach'
      procedures made possible by EGNOS allow planes to commence their
      descent closer to the runway, limiting noise to the area near airports.

    - Increased capacity for smaller airports: The vertical guidance offered
      by the system means planes are able to land in restricted visibility
      conditions, increasing the capacity of airports, especially small and
      medium-sized airports that cannot afford the more expensive alternative

In order for the EGNOS Safety-of-Life service to be used, aircrafts need
to be equipped with an EGNOS-enabled receiver and airports must have
EGNOS-specific approach procedures for their runways.

The first EGNOS approach procedure has recently been published for the
aiport of Pau, France and has successfully been used by a Dassault Falcon


EGNOS - the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service - is made
up of transponders aboard three geostationary satellites and an
interconnected ground network of 40 positioning stations and four control
centres. The EGNOS coverage area includes most European states and will be
further extended.

For more information:

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Andrea Maresi; andrea.maresi at; +32-2-299-04-03

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