GAGAN Navigation System

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    • Recently, the government has exempted Boeing 787 aircraft in India from complying with indigenously developed GAGAN navigation system until December 2025 as the aircraft manufacturer has said that it involves a major design change. 

    About

    • Civil Aviation Policy 2016:
      • It said that all other aircraft have to comply with GAGAN.
        • The deadline for aircraft in India to comply with GAGAN was January 1, 2019 which was first extended to June 30, 2020 and then to July 1, 2021.
    • Need?
      • Government wants Indian carriers to start using GAGAN so that it will help increase the scope of the navigation system.  

    Facts/ Data

    • Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner can carry 248 passengers, 787-9 can fly 296 passengers and 787-10 can carry 336 passengers. 
    • Currently, Air India and Vistara operate the wide-body Boeing 787 planes. 

    GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation) 

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    • Development:
      • GAGAN is an Indian Satellite Based Augmentation System jointly developed by the AAI and the Indian Space Research Organisation.
    • Aim:
      • Its main aim is passengers’ safety by guiding pilots to precision landing on runways. 
      • It is the first such system developed for India and neighbouring countries in the equatorial region.
    • GAGAN uses a system of ground stations: 
      • Based in Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Jammu and Port Blair to provide necessary augmentation to the GPS navigation signal.
      • A network of precisely surveyed ground reference stations is strategically positioned across the country to collect GPS satellite data.
    • The system will be interoperable with other international SBAS systems and provide seamless navigation across regional boundaries.
    • The GAGAN Signal-In-Space (SIS) is available through GSAT-8 and GSAT-10.
    • Other countries
      • There are only three other space-based augmentation systems available in the world which include:
        • Wide Area Augmentation System in the U.S
        • European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service 
        • Japan’s Multi-functional Satellite Augmentation System.

    Significance of GAGAN

    • Smaller airports will benefit:
      • Once fully rolled out, it will make several smaller airports such as those in the North-East capable of having compliant aircraft land in low-visibility scenarios.
    • Poor weather and low visibility:
      • This new technology provides a substantial operational benefit in poor weather and low visibility conditions.
    • Tool to alert before natural disaster:
      • AAI in coordination with Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) has implemented GAGAN Message Service (GMS) through which alert messages to fishermen, farmers, and disaster affected people will be sent on the occurrence of natural disasters, calamities, such as flood, earthquake etc.
    • Landing:
      • GAGAN helps aircraft with guided landing at airports that do not have instrument landing systems for low-visibility operations or an aid where two radio beams provide pilots with vertical and horizontal guidance during landing. 
    • Safety and Traffic management: 
      • It helps the aviation industry in maintaining safety with increased traffic and reducing the infrastructure needed on the ground. 
    • Disaster management: 
      • It aids during natural disasters like floods and earthquakes by sending messages to affected people. 
    • Other benefits:
      • Besides aviation, it provides services in forest management, railway signalling, and scientific research for atmospheric studies, natural resource and land management, location-based services, mobile, and tourism.  

    Satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS)

    • The SBAS is a navigation system, which builds on the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GLONASS), and adds to the accuracy and integrity of these navigation tools.
    • For aircraft operators, both civilian and military, it means that pilots can land aircraft at smaller airports and airstrips using navigation guidance without expensive instrument-based landing systems being installed on the ground. 

    The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

    • It is a United Nations body. 
    • It develops policies and standards, among other activities, for the member states and stakeholders.

    Source: TH