EGNOS and Galileo were at the World Air Traffic Management (ATM) Congress in Madrid from 6 to 8 March to highlight the vital and increasing role of European GNSS (EGNSS) in the aviation sector enabling simplified, safe and integrated ATM for all aircraft from civil airliners to autonomous drones. On 6 March, funding for research, development, innovation and implementation opportunities worth more than €300 million for EGNSS related aviation projects were presented in a special conference session.
For three days in March, Madrid becomes the centre of the ATM world. Now in its sixth edition, the Congress is the largest ATM forum in the world and is a ‘one-stop shop’ for all things ATM. In 2018 it was bigger and better than ever with a record 237 exhibitors registered and thousands of aviation leaders arriving for three days of conference sessions, product demonstrations and launches, contract closures, and networking.
Be part of €300 million
The main feature for EGNSS at Madrid was an awareness-raising session on the afternoon of 6 March co-organised by GSA: ‘Discover EU funding opportunities worth €300 million....and be part of it’.
The event kicked off with a description of current and upcoming EGNSS funding opportunities in aviation: the current EGNOS for Aviation Call and the next Horizon 2020 EGNSS Market Uptake Call.
Carmen Aguilera, of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) moderated the session and gave an overview of the programmes that are worth, in total, €50 million with the aim to further accelerate the use of EGNOS and Galileo in all aviation application areas, including drones.
The Aviation Grant Programme is the basis for the recently launched third call from the GSA for proposals to promote EGNOS operational implementation throughout European airports and among European airspace users. It targets all segments and aims to foster the use of EGNOS for navigation and surveillance applications, increase network effect and maximise public benefits.
“The call is structured to cover six areas of activity,” said Aguilera including the design and operational implementation of EGNOS based LPV/LPV 200 approach procedures, low level routes, the installation of EGNOS-enabled avionics and granting of airworthiness certification, the development of retrofit and forward-fit solutions, and the development of enablers and other EGNOS based operations including, for example, simulators, validation tools, training materials, or drone applications.
The call was published on 12 February and the deadline for submitting applications is 21May with the signature of the first grant agreements foreseen for September – October 2018. Applications can be made by citizens of any EU Member State and Norway or Switzerland.
More information on the call can be found on the GSA website and a series of information sessions about the call is being organised, including a webinar scheduled for 15 March at 11:00 CET. Registration for the webinar is open now.
The second programme is the forthcoming GSA organised Horizon 2020 research and development call. The H2020-SPACE-EGNSS-2019 call will open on 16 October and cover four topics: EGNSS applications to foster sustainable mobility including the use of drones; EGNSS applications fostering digitisation; ENGSS applications for societal resilience and environmental protection; and projects to raise awareness of EGNSS and capacity building.
The total budget for the call is €20 million and the deadline for proposal submission is 5 March 2019
As an example of a successful EU-funded, GSA-managed research project in H2020, Christian Belleux, Aviation Director at Orolia described the work of the HELIOS project and its subsequent commercialisation.
The project developed a range of Galileo enhanced beacons and associated antennas to exploit the full capability of the MEOSAR COSPAS / SARSAT international programme that operates a global Search and Rescue (SAR) distress alert detection and information distribution system.
EGNOS significantly improves the localisation performance for these beacons, introducing new capabilities and the use of the Galileo SAR service with its return link adds further operational and life-saving features. Two maritime beacons for personal use with Life Jackets and one aviation beacon with an associated high-speed fuselage antenna have been brought to market.
The aviation device will feature remote activation through the Galileo return link service capability and enables accurate location of an aircraft and sharing of critical data. “The device is compatible with recommendations for autonomous distress tracking that will be applicable from January 2021 for all new aircraft builds,” said Bellux.
The final presentation of the session was from Isabelle Jagiello of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) on the 2017 Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Transport SESAR call for proposals. This €290 million call, which opened on 6 October 2017 and has a final deadline on 12 April 2018, is exclusively for proposals addressing the priority Single European Sky aka SESAR.
The call is aimed at supporting the effective implementation of the Single European Sky policy and improving overall ATM performance in Europe. Funded projects are studies and pilot activities looking to improve infrastructure or technology.
“All project proposals must clearly improve ATM performance,” said Jagiello. “And use of EGNOS and Galileo is also a general requirement.”
The GSA and INEA coordinate their calls to ensure no dual funding and to ensure maximum use of the available budget in the respective programmes.
Following the presentation, participants were invited to a networking drink and the presentation of the 2018 EGNOS awards at the EGNOS stand. The awards were introduced by Sofia Cilla, Service Adoption Manager at ESSP – the EGNOS Service provider - and presented by José Luis Fernandez, Service Provision Unit Manager at ESSP.
The first recipient was Adriana Salmón Fernandez representing FerroNATS, a commercial air traffic control operator in Spain that has just implemented their fifth EGNOS procedure. She praised the smooth coordination of the implementation and looked forward to future collaboration.
Similarly, the second recipient, George Angelou representing the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, appreciated the cooperation with GSA in the ongoing BlueGNSS programme and looked forward to EGNOS operational approaches in Greece being “up and running” soon.
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