Thursday, April 16, 2020

Flights over Indian airspace at risk? ISRO's navigation system to lose safety certification

The Air Navigation Services provider certificate issued by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to Airports Authority of India (AAI) certifying the GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system for a period of 60 months (five years) from the date of issue being April 21, 2015 is about to lapse soon.

The certificate authorizing the holder AAI, to provide the facility to operate as navigational aids to support air traffic services for all users on equal terms and conditions is on the verge of expiry. This certificate will be suspended, modified or withdrawn in case of any violations of the provisions of the Aircraft Act, 1934 and the Aircraft rules, 1937.
In 2019, the ministry of Civil aviation postponed the requirement for aircraft registered in India to be equipped with GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation system (GAGAN) compatible avionics from January 2019 mandated earlier to June 30, 2020. "All the aircraft being imported for registration on or after 30.06.2020 shall be required to be suitably equipped with GAGAN equipment," the public notice published by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.
GAGAN stands for GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation system. It is a system of satellites and ground stations that provides GPS signals to provide better position accuracy. GAGAN is a Space-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) jointly developed by ISRO and AAI to provide the best possible navigational services over Indian FIR (Flight Information Region) with the capability of expanding to neighboring FIRs.
With the certification of GAGAN for approach and landing operations (APV 1) on 21st April 2015, India has become the third country in the world to have such capabilities. GAGAN is the first system in the world to have implemented in the equatorial Ionospheric region. The GAGAN system is designed to help pilots navigate successfully under all-weather conditions by the accuracy of up to three meters, this capability would enable aircraft landing even on tough terrain and extreme weather. It will allow an aircraft to reduce fuel burn by flying on a specific path on straight routes and between two three-dimensional defined points.
16/04/20 Savita V Jayaram/IBTimes
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