Brexit fallout: Galileo center moves from UK to Spain

January 18, 2018  - By

A security center for the European Union’s Galileo satellite system will be moved from the United Kingdom to Spain as a result of Brexit, according to numerous press reports.

A committee of representatives of member states voted by a large majority on Jan. 18 to approve the European Commission’s recommendation of Madrid as the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre’s (GSMC’s) new home.

The center, which is not yet fully operational, has only one full-time member of staff in Swanwick, England, but when it is up and running in Madrid, staffing is expected to grow to as many as 30.

The center controls access to the satellite system and provides around-the-clock monitoring when the main security center near Paris is offline.

The European Commission’s decision to move the center to Spain will bring Spain “strategic advantages, industrial development of high technological value, and the consolidation of national knowledge and technology in the area of security,” the Spanish ministry of public works said.

Spain was selected from six countries, according to Spanish media. It offers the facilities of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA), which belong to the defense ministry and are located in Madrid.

The GSMC is operated by the European GNSS Agency (GSA) in charge of supervising and acting on cases such as security threats and alerts.

Spain has another of the fundamental centers of the program, the Loyola de Palacio GNSS Service Center, also located in Madrid.

The center is one of a number of EU institutions leaving the UK as a result of the 2016 referendum vote, also including the European Banking Agency, which is relocating to Paris, and the European Medicines Agency, which is going to Amsterdam.

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About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.