The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), Europe's regional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS), provides safety of life navigation services to aviation, maritime and land-based users over most of Europe. The ‘Landing with EGNOS’ exhibition, which opened at the Cité de l’Espace in Toulouse on 11 October, explains the system’s various applications, particularly for the aviation sector.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion held at the exhibition’s official launch, Jean-Marc Pieplu, EGNOS Programme Manager at the European GNSS Agency (GSA), said that the exhibition recognised the work that had been conducted over the past 20 years to put the EGNOS system into operation.
“We should be proud of the success of EGNOS, not just for us but because users are taking on board this European technology,” he said, adding that the exhibition was important, as the time had come to explain to the general public about what EGNOS is, and how it is widely used in Europe to contribute to aviation safety.
The opening ceremony was attended by about 100 students from France’s National Civil Aviation University
A350 EGNOS simulator
Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to simulate landing a plane in an A350 EGNOS simulator. Thierry Racaud, CEO of European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP), which is in charge of EGNOS operations and service provision, said that ESSP was delighted that Cité de l’Espace had installed the A350 EGNOS simulator in its permanent exhibition.
“This simulator is a great way for the general public to understand the benefits of the European Union’s space programmes, and of EGNOS in particular, in their daily lives,” he said, adding that it was a source of pride for the EGNOS community to see the latest commercial aircraft adopting this technology.
Visitors to the exhibition can try landing a plane in an A350 EGNOS simulator
Our clients like EGNOS
Representing manufacturers of commercial aircraft at the roundtable, Thierry Harquin, an engineer and EGNOS expert at Airbus, said that Airbus likes EGNOS very much because its clients like EGNOS. He said that at Airbus there is a programme to have all models of A319/A320/A321 and A330 with optional SBAS/GBAS. This is optional because some countries, such as Australia for instance, are not covered by SBAS. “Our first client for the A320 with the SBAS option is EasyJet,” he said.
Nicolas Dubois, Executive Deputy Director at DGAC/DTI, the technical department of DSNA Services (Direction des services de la navigation aérienne), the French organisation in charge of air traffic control, highlighted France’s role as an early adopter of EGNOS. “France was the first country to publish an EGNOS approach procedure and was the first to implement an LPV-200 approach,” he said, adding that DSNA would be decommissioning around 50 ILS in the coming year thanks to the use of EGNOS and will then ensure that more than 100 runways have CAT 1 ILS BY 2020.
The opening ceremony was attended by about 100 students from France’s National Civil Aviation University and from various schools and colleges in Toulouse, who were welcomed with a number of flash presentations on the European Union’s satellite navigation programmes.