Mumbai – According to recent news by the Mumbai Mirror, the government has warned domestic airlines of `consequences’ if they did not adopt the Rs 774 crore GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation system (GAGAN). The warning came during a meeting called by the DGCA earlier this week with all stakeholders, including the airlines, who have not availed of the system even 18 months after its launch.
The GAGAN System, jointly developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Airports Authority of India (AAI), is a giant leap forward in the development of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) services in India and will pave the way for more growth and enhancement in the days to come. GAGAN will help to gain an accuracy of 1.5 m in horizontal and 2.5 m in vertical.
According to an ISRO spokesperson, GAGAN’s GEO footprint extends from Africa to Australia and has expansion capability for seamless navigation services across the region. “GAGAN provides the additional accuracy, availability, and integrity necessary for all phases of flight, from en route through approach for all qualified airports,” the spokesperson said.
Aircraft manufacturers have already been given the platform to receive signals from Gagan in the Satellite Based Augmented System (SBAS) receiver. The GAGAN signal is being broadcast through two Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites – GSAT8 and GSAT10 – covering whole Indian Flight Information Region (FIR) and beyond. An on-orbit spare GAGAN transponder will be flown on GSAT-15.
However, in order for the domestic airlines to availing of the GAGAN system, they would have to make their aircraft GAGAN-compliant, which would entail a huge investment on their part.
A DGCA source said that while smaller aircraft like ATRs and Bombardiers which are currently in the Indian carriers’ fleet are already equipped with the GAGAN system, bigger planes such as the Airbus A320, A330, Boeing 737, B777 and B 787s, among others, need to be retrofitted. Eight major domestic carriers – Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, JetLite, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, Vistara, and AirAsia – have a total of 427 such planes currently in service.
India is the fourth country to offer safety of life, space-based satellite navigation services to aviation sector in the world.
DGCA Director General B S Bhullar said”
A notice issued by the DGCA dated December 19 stated that most aircraft registered in India are still not equipped with this technology. “This assumes significance as many airlines and operators have placed orders for many more aircraft which may not be equipped with necessary airborne equipment and thus not be GAGANcompliant.
The system is interoperable with other international satellite based tracking systems such as the WAAS (US), EGNOS (Europe) and MSAD (Japan).