NAVIGATING a better tomorrow

, AAI Updates

SBAS IWG meet highlights the progress and developments in SBAS technology around the world

(Left to Right) Mr. Greg Thompson, Programme Manager WAAS (IWG Co-chair); Mr. Didier Flament, Head of EGNOS and SBAS Division, ESA (IWG Co-chair); Mr. Vineet Gulati, Member (ANS), AAI)

Air travel is considered to be the safest modes of transportation with human and technological support starting from ensuring a smooth take off to safe landing of a flight.

Indian airspace including the oceanic airspace is strategically located to facilitate major traffic flows between in Asia Pacific Region and Middle East region in Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian ocean. Thus, AAI as an Air Navigation Services Provider has a leadership role to play towards enhancing the airspace safety, capacity to ensure efficient aircraft operations.

Gearing up towards becoming the third largest aviation market in the world, India will now be the pioneer in the Asia-Pacific region to adopt the latest technology of navigation and surveillance of aircraft  through satellites.

Satellite-based Augmentation System

Satellite-based Augmentation System (SBAS) is a civil aviation safety-critical system that supports wide-area or regional augmentation even continental scale through the use of geostationary (GEO) satellites, which broadcast the augmentation information. SBAS augments primary GNSS constellation(s) GPS, GLONASS by providing GEO ranging, integrity and correction information.

Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) Interoperability Working Group (IWG) is a forum for SBAS providers to address issues related to the compatability of SBAS systems, with a goal of providing seamless operations for users. The specific objectives of SBAS working group are:

Harmonise SBAS modernisation plans.

Harmonise technical improvements based upon operational and user feedback.

Research and Development (R&D) cooperation on key SBAS technologies.

Support joint SBAS promotion

Forum for discussion on SBAS requirements.

(Left to right) Mr. Greg Thompson, Mr. Didier Flament, Mr. Vineet Gulati, Mr. Mansoor Ahmad

SBAS iwg meet

SBAS IWG members meet twice in a year to discuss progress & developments in SBAS technology around the world.

The 36th  SBAS IWG meet was co-chaired by the representative from USA and Europe with the participation from other Air Navigation service providers of the operational Satellite Base Augmentation System (SBAS) such as EGNOS-Europe, WAAS-USA, C-WAAS-Canada, MSAS-Japan.

Upcoming SBAS service providers in the world from BDSBAS-China, KASS-South Korea, ASECNA-Africa, SDCM-Russia, SPAN-Australia & New Zealand are also associated in the IWG meet.

The SBAS IWG has two sub-groups; Technical-Sub Group (TSG) and Operational-Sub Group (OSG).

Features and benefits of SBAS

Providing accuracy, integrity, service continuity and availability required to reply on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) navigation for all phases of flight, from en-route through Category-I equivalent approach.

To add increased capability, flexibility, and often, more cost-effective navigation options than adding additional legacy ground-based navigation aids.

To provide the opportunity to cover very large areas of airspace and areas formally not served by other navigation aids.

To support safe Area Navigation (RNAV) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP) operations for en-route through Category-I Precision Approach flight operations.

With the implementation of SBAS services by IWG member countries, seamless navigation for safe and efficient aircraft operations can be provided all over the world using satellite based technology.

SBAS Interoperability Working Group (IWG) is a forum for SBAS providers to address issues related to the interoperability of SBAS systems


As a member of SBAS IWG, the Airports Authority of India hosted 36th Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) Interoperability Working Group (IWG) meet from February 4-7, 2020 at New Delhi.

The 36th SBAS IWG meet was inaugurated by Member (ANS), AAI in the presence of senior officials from DGCA, ISRO, AAI and delegates from IWG member countries.

Member (ANS), AAI expressed in his inauguration speech that world over aviation sector has witnessed a remarkable growth in the last decade with robust growth in passenger and cargo traffic, surge in investment in the airport infrastructure, rapid rise in the number of airports, modernisation and augmentation of capacities at various airports. Rapidly expanding air transport network and opening up of the airport infrastructure to private sector participation have fuelled the growth of the air traffic and aviation Industry. GAGAN (Indian SBAS) will play a key role in future to cater the challenges of air navigation to improve the Air Traffic Management infrastructure, airspace and its utilisation to enhance air traffic capacity whilst maintaining or improving the levels of safety.

Representatives from airlines Industries


India’s satellite-based navigation programme “GAGAN” (GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation) has been jointly conceived and developed by AAI and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). GAGAN has been certified by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for en-route (RNP 0.1) operations since December 2013 and for approach with vertical guidance (APV 1) operations since April 2015 and joined the elite group of countries like the USA, Europe and Japan in the field of satellite-based navigation.

GAGAN (Indian SBAS) will play a key role in future to cater the challenges of air navigation and improve the Air Traffic Management infrastructure

Outreach Event between SBAS IWG members and Airlines, Receivers & Aircraft OEMs

Today, SBAS benefits awareness is increasing and SBAS services provision is expanding globally, driven by the implementation of new SBAS plans all over the world. This reinforces the need for increased coordination to accelerate user adoption and penetration of SBAS services.

In this frame, current and future SBAS services providers in the US (WAAS), Europe (EGNOS), India (GAGAN), Japan (MSAS), China (BDSBAS), Russia (SDCM), Korea (KASS), Africa (A-SBAS) and Australia/NZ (SPAN), gathered as part of the SBAS Interoperability Working Group (IWG), was undertaking actions to develop multilateral dialogue with aircraft operators and manufacturers, with the aim to address the key issue of planning integration of SBAS in the navigation strategy of all stakeholders, and thereby to “close the loop” towards SBAS adoption in aviation.

To initiate this dialogue, AAI hosted an outreach event on February 6, 2020 at New Delhi on the sidelines of the 36th SBAS IWG meet. Apart from the SBAS IWG members, the outreach event was attended by Boeing, Collins Aerospace, ATR, Airbus, Honeywell, Air France, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, Air Asia, IATA, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Go Air, Vistara, HAL, DGCA, ISRO etc.

In the outreach event, AAI deliberated with airlines and provided status related to readiness of GAGAN-based LPV procedures.

AAI and ISRO delegates

Boeing, ATR and Collins Aerospace have presented their view on support/solution providing to equipage for existing aircraft fleets to make enable for SBAS-based operations. They also expressed their future plans to provide solutions for SBAS operations with upcoming updates. They explained the benefits of SBAS utilisation in aviation.

During the deliberations, aircraft OEMs clarified that ATRs recently supplied to Indian airline operators such as IndiGo Airlines, Alliance Air & SpiceJet have the GAGAN approach capability. Airline representatives also expressed their willingness to utilize GAGAN for approach/landing operations at the airports operated by ATR fleet.

Air France and Japan Airline have presented their view on benefits of SBAS utilisation in respect of safety, customer satisfaction, fuel saving & noise exposure reduction and their readiness & status on the same.

Airline industries appreciated organising of the event, which was beneficial for all aviation stakeholders to understand the SBAS readiness by various ANSPs and also the aircraft equipage.

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