Indian government warns airlines to use GAGAN

January 17, 2017  - By
Image: GPS World

The government of India has warned domestic airlines of “consequences” if they do not use GAGAN, the state’s GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation system, reports the Mumbai Mirror.

The warning came during a meeting called by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in December with all stakeholders, including the airlines. Most aircraft registered in India are still not equipped with the technology two years after its launch.

While smaller aircraft such as ATRs and Bombardiers in the Indian carriers’ fleet are already equipped with the GAGAN system, bigger planes need to be retrofitted at the airlines’ expense, including Airbus A320, A330, Boeing 737, B777 and B 787. Eight major domestic carriers — Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, JetLite, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, Vistara and AirAsia — have 427 such planes in service, Mumbai Mirror reports.

The National Civil Aviation Policy, announced by the government in June, makes it mandatory for all aircraft registered in India  to be GAGAN-enabled by Jan. 1, 2019.

Jointly developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Airports Authority of India (AAI), the GAGAN system was officially launched by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in July 2016. It is said to make airline operations more efficient and cut down costs as it reduces separation between aircraft, increases air safety and fuel efficiency.

GAGAN’s footprint extends from Africa to Australia and has expansion capability for seamless navigation services across the region. The system is inter-operable with other international satellite based tracking systems such as the WAAS (US), EGNOS (Europe) and MSAD (Japan).

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