Hyderabad: India will be operating the most sophisticated satellite-based air navigation system in the world by 2011, according to American aerospace major Raytheon, which will immensely benefit the flow of both civilian and military air traffic.
Raytheon is currently leading a team of two Indian and one American company to deliver a comprehensive solution for a global satellite navigation system to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Airports Authority of India.
To be implemented by the end of the year or early next year, the Rs972.72 crore ($196 million) Global Positioning Satellite-Aided Geosynchronous Augmented Navigation system (GAGAN), Raytheon said, will provide India with the most accurate, flexible and efficient air navigation system ever deployed.
"India had asked for the most sophisticated navigation system - even more sophisticated than what we have implemented in the US and Japan and we have shown that we are ready to deliver that," Raytheon's director of business development and strategic planning Fred A Treyz III informed the media.
Treyz was part of Raytheon's delegation to the first Indian civil aviation air show, India Aviation 2008, held here 15-18 October 2008.
Treyz pointed out that no other nation, or group of nations, is deploying such a sophisticated air navigation system.
Other members of the Raytheon-led technology team are Accord Software and Systems Pvt Ltd of Bangalore, Elcome Technologies Pvt Ltd of Gurgaon and Naverus Inc. of Kent, Washington.
According to Raytheon, the GAGAN design is based on the experience that the company has gained implementing the US and Japanese systems, which are the only certified space-based navigation augmentation systems in the world.
The Wide Area Augmentation System, designed and developed by Raytheon and now being used in the US, was certified and commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration of the US in July 2003. The MTSAT Satellite Augmentation System also designed and developed by Raytheon was certified and commissioned by the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau in September 2007.
The European Union is currently implementing the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), which is yet to receive certification.
Accord Software is providing Global Positioning System (GPS)-based user receiver prototype development optimized for the equatorial region, while Elcome is providing logistical and on-site support. American firm Naverus is providing performance-based navigation route design, procedure flight validation and other related services.
The project will provide straight-line fuel-efficient routes and precision approach landings, thereby reducing fuel burn substantially. It will also enable multiple approach capability.
GAGAN will also extend coverage over surrounding oceanic areas, which is not possible through terrestrial systems. It will improve airport and airspace access in all weather conditions, enhance reliability and reduce delays. It will also provide uniform and accurate navigation performance over the entire airspace, provide fuel efficient air corridors and provide CAT-I approach without ground element support.
GAGAN will provide airlines with higher fuel savings/efficiency and higher flow of air traffic within the country's airspace.