Govt in talks with plane makers to use GAGAN navigation system

By: | Published: October 6, 2015 1:01 AM

According to government officials, if the talks go through, the new aircraft will do away with the radar-based navigation system. Each aircraft will cost at least a couple of crores extra with the new navigation system implemented in it

The civil aviation ministry is in talks with aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus to implement the new GAGAN GPS-aided navigation system.

“All new aircraft might come with the GAGAN navigation system, but before that the instrument needs to be standardised… the work is going on,” said officials.

Though aircraft manufacturers are tight-lipped about the discussions, government officials said that if the talks go through, the new aircraft will do away with the radar-based navigation system. Each aircraft will cost at least a couple of crores extra with the new navigation system implemented in it.

However, officials said that mandating implementation of GAGAN in the existing planes owned and operated by carriers might not happen, as it would require grounding of aircraft for quite a long period of time. It would also require supplimental type certificate (which is required if any new instrument is introduced to an already running aircraft), which would further delay the process of implementation in existing aircraft.

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has agreed to provide a 5% subsidy on the receivers. It is also in talks with all airline companies to install the new navigation system. As a part of a trial run, AAI has implemented GAGAN in 50 airports. V Somasundaram, member, airport navigation and surveillance at  AAI said, that GAGAN will be implemented across all airports in a phased manner.

Officials said that the GPS-aided navigation system is far more efficient than the current one. While radar based navigation system allows manning of two planes in the airspace at the same time, GAGAN allows the air traffic control (ATC) to operate 50 planes in the same time frame. It also improves efficiency and increases fuel savings — as planes will have to circle less over the airports — reduces the workload of flight crew and ATC, and allows vertical guidance at runaways.

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