Gagan Navigation Program Faces New Delay In India

 - February 7, 2013, 9:59 AM

The certification for India’s GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (Gagan) project is presently being led by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and, according to an official statement, is “expected to be operational in the summer of 2013.” However, an Airports Authority of India (AAI) official, speaking on condition of anonymity, has told AIN the schedule is likely to be pushed back toward the end of the year.

Raytheon is building the ground stations for the Gagan System, which will provide satellite-based navigation for civil aviation over Indian airspace and adjoining areas in South and East Asia. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and AAI are providing the space segment, additional ground equipment, as well as participating in the integration and operating the system.

Gagan leverages differential GPS technology to augment the standard GPS service, adding integrity to the GPS signal and improving its accuracy. It is the only satellite-based augmentation system that has an enhanced algorithm specifically for the equatorial region of the world. “The sun flares [in the equatorial region] affect the earth’s atmosphere and other characteristics. Our system makes the corrections for this,” a Raytheon official told AIN.

U.S. group Mitre, which has expertise in systems engineering, information technology and operational concepts, is the technical advisor for the Gagan certification. AAI will operate the system and DGCA will certify it.

According to analysis from Boeing and KPMG, over the next 20 years nearly half of the world’s air traffic is expected to fly to or from the Asia Pacific region–growth factor of 6.4 percent with 12,000 additional aircraft needed to join the existing fleet of 4,700. Gagan will improve safety, reduce congestion and enhance communications to meet India’s growing air traffic management needs.