The European Delegation to Tunisia inaugurated the Galileo EuroMed Cooperation Office (GEMCO) at Elgazala Technopark in Tunis, with the presence of representatives of Tunisian Institutions and the European Commission.
Several delegates from six Euromed countries (Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) attended the inauguration ceremony and the workshop organized by the Euromed GNSS II project called MEDUSA, that is also in charge of operating the office.
ESSP President Dirk Werquin took part in this event, invited by GEMCO members and representing the EGNOS Service Provider for Europe. Mr Werquin made a general presentation on EGNOS services, highlighting the actual implementation status (specially in the Aviation domain) and recalling future domains of application in Road, Rail, Maritime and Agriculture sectors. His presence was well appreciated as an opportunity to review the actual benefits of EGNOS in Europe.
The day kicked off by an Institutional panel with key note speeches from European Commission, European Delegation in Tunis and the Ministry of Transport of Tunisia that reaffirmed the interest of Tunisia towards EGNOS and Galileo and the mutual cooperation in the field of E-GNSS; recalling the joint statement signed between the Minister of Transport and Vice-president Tajani one year ago.
The second part was mainly dedicated to share the European experiences in using EGNOS and the views for Galileo in civilian applications, as well as to discuss the possibilities for cross-fertilisation with the forthcoming GEMCO activities. During the third part, focused on reviewing the several ideas submitted in the framework of the call for ideas closed last September, the speakers - from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia - presented their proposals and their priority themes concerning the use of GNSS in their countries and in the Euromed region.
Successful SHERPA Final User Forum
held in Dubrovnik
The SHERPA “Final user Forum” was held on the 16th and 17th October 2013 in Dubrovnik (Croatia) being organized by the SHERPA project team and the European GNSS Agency (GSA).
The SHERPA project raised high interest and triggered useful interactions with different Eastern European GNSS stakeholders concerning the EGNOS adoption and the implementation of EGNOS based operations (in particular LPVs).
The SHERPA “Final user Forum” was conceived as a means to give answer to the set of identified needs/doubts/interests collected along the project lifetime by:
More than 40 attendees participated in this event including representatives of GSA, SHERPA consortium members, Eurocontrol, industry, airports of Pristina, Pula and Dubrovnik, Civil Aviation Authorities from Estonia, Croatia and Montenegro and ANSPs from Spain, Portugal, Austria, Montenegro, Ukraine and Croatia.
The event gave the opportunity to all the attendees to better understand and boost the needed activities for EGNOS adoption and implementation at national level, to obtain guidance material and references on these topics and catalyze the coordination with other European GNSS stakeholders. The SHERPA Final User Forum understood as a means to accelerate the associated EGNOS processes in a regional coordinated basis was a complete success.
An specific session concerning the future LPV implementation at Dubrovnik Airport for 2014 was also held. The associated technical details, the expected benefits this operation will bring and the implementation roadmap were explained by CroControl (Croatian ANSP) and Dubrovnik Airport representatives followed by a fruitful discussion on procedure's design.
ESSP SAS, as SHERPA project coordinator, wants to stress and thank the support and hospitality received by Dubrovnik airport representatives which was essential for the event success and achievement of the event´s goals. Specially thanks also to the contribution received from key EGNOS stakeholders as GSA, Eurocontrol and Aena which provided a great added value and expertise to the event.
SHERPA project provides elements to the participant States in mapping the implementation of EGNOS into their national PBN strategy in a coordinated manner with their national Regulatory Authorities. SHERPA aims to support Eastern countries to understand the pre-operational actions to be undertaken by their relevant stakeholders (ANSPs, regulators and airlines) in support to EGNOS adoption.
EWA signed with NAV Portugal
ESSP and NAV Portugal have just signed an EGNOS Working Agreement (EWA) as a key step for the implementation of EGNOS-based approach procedures (LPV procedures) at Portuguese airports.
The signature was sealed by ESSP President Dirk Werquin and NAV Portugal President, Luis Ottolini Coimbra.
The EGNOS Working Agreement formalizes the operational and technical modalities between ESSP, the EGNOS service provider, and NAV Portugal, in order to support the operational introduction and use of EGNOS LPV (Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance) approaches in Portugal.
From now on, NAV-P can publish EGNOS-based procedures that will improve safety, accessibility and efficiency to pilots and operators at Portuguese airports.
EGNOS benefits for European Regional Airlines
The ERA General Assembly 2013 took place in Salzburg from 2nd to 4th October 2013. The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) is a trade association representing the intra-European aviation industry and comprises about 50 regional airlines and over 120 associate and affiliate members who jointly covers the entire spectrum of the regional aviation sector such as airlines, airports, manufacturers and suppliers.
The EGNOS stand, organized by the European GNSS Agency and supported by ESSP, received a significant number of visitors from different aviation stakeholders. All of them were very enthusiastic about EGNOS and raised many different questions on the system, its main advantages, as well as its implementation status in different European countries. Some of them were really interested in knowing how EGNOS-based approaches can be implemented at their local airports, and how aircrafts can be equipped with SBAS compatible avionics.
In fact, GSA and ESSP presented with great success the subject “EGNOS benefits for Regional Airlines” at the Innovation Zone of the event.
Alberto Santos (ESSP) stated that “EGNOS is an important enabler for Performance Based Navigation (PBN) that is one of the pillars of the future air navigation: EGNOS allows to perform instrumental approaches of almost Cat I minima (250 ft) in runways where the installation of an ILS is not cost effective or technically feasible, as well as to provide an inexpensive backup to runway ends already equipped with an ILS. This has indeed important benefits in terms of safety and service regularity for regional airlines operating in aerodromes under poor weather conditions”
For these airlines, efficiency is also a key decision driver when making investments and introducing new technologies as Satellite Navigation. EGNOS contributes to reduce operation costs and minimize environmental impact thanks to enabling more flexible and advanced operation procedures including Continuous Descent Final Approach (CDFA). In fact, EGNOS contributes to reduce fuel burn (saving money and decreasing emissions) and limit noise footprints.
From her side, Carmen Aguilera (GSA) highlighted that “stakeholders in the European regional aviation are very enthusiastic about EGNOS and particularly about the fact that Instrumental Approach Procedures with lateral and vertical guidance can be implemented in small and medium aerodromes with a minimum cost”. In addition, she added that “the experience gained by pioneer users prove clear operational and safety benefits. There are currently more than 150 EGNOS enabled procedures in European airports and it is foreseen that the next year more than 15 countries will publish their first EGNOS based approach procedure”.
ESSP and HIAL sign an EGNOS Working Agreement
ESSP and HIAL (Highland and Islands Airports Limited) have just signed an EGNOS Working Agreement (EWA) as a key step for the implementation of EGNOS-based approach procedures (LPV procedures) at 11 Scottish airports.
The signature was sealed last September 13th by ESSP President Dirk Werquin and HIAL‘s Managing Director, Inglis Lyon.
From now on, HIAL can publish EGNOS-based procedures that will improve safety, accessibility and efficiency to pilots and operators at the 11 local airports managed by them: Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Dundee, Islay, Inverness, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick.
EGNOS provides a cost effective alternative to ILS CAT I, offering similar performance, and it is free!
“The use of EGNOS for LPV approach procedures is already a reality in Europe” Mr. Werquin said, “and we, as the EGNOS Service provider, are proud that HIAL airports will start to benefit from the EGNOS service, as is being done in other European countries with EWA signed”.
In the same framework, HIAL has been part of the project ACCEPTA - ACCceleration of the EGNOS adopTion in the Aviation sector. Jointly with HIAL, Scottish operator Loganair is also part of this project managed by the GSA (European GNSS Agency), getting its fleet equipped with EGNOS enabled receivers. The HIAL airports involved in the project, and the first ones foreseen to publish these kind of procedures, are Barra, Benbecula and Campbeltown.
The EC has released a new version of the EGNOS Safety of life Service Definition Document (SoL SDD) updating the previous one from 2011.
The Service Definition Document presents the characteristics and terms and condition of use of the services offered to users by the EGNOS Safety of Life (SoL).
The EGNOS Safety of Life (SoL) Service is provided openly and is freely accessible without any direct charge, and is tailored to safety-critical transport applications in various domains, in particular for aviation applications.
The major improvement of this new SDD is the enlargement of the EGNOS service area, as shown in the map for the APV-I availability.