The Marrakech Air Show is one of the most important aviation events in Africa. With over 260 exhibitors and more than 41 000 visitors from some 41 countries the third Marrakech Air show took place on 4 – 7 April at the Marrakech-Mena Airport.
The SIRAJ (SBAS Implementation in the regions ACAC and ASECNA) project consortia were represented at the event by the Moroccan Office National des Aeroports (ONDA), who are the national air navigation service provider, and SIRAJ coordinator Pildo Labs from Barcelona.
The project had a dedicated exhibition stand at the Air Show and also took the opportunity to present a conference on ‘Aviation Satellite Navigation Services in the Regions of ACAC and ASECNA’.
Presentations at the conference reviewed the current availability of GNSS systems and services and featured EGNOS, the European SBAS (Satellite-Based Augmentation System) service that received Safety of Life certification for aviation operations in March 2011.
In particular the conference was presented the results of the successful EGNOS demonstration flight performed at Al-Hoceima Airport in north Morocco earlier in 2012. This demonstration saw the successful design and validation of a GNSS instrument approach down to the LPV (Localiser Performance with Vertical guidance) minima. This procedure is likely to be the first LPV published in Africa.
The final results of the project will be presented to regional airlines and other stakeholders on 28 May in Rabat, Morocco during the forthcoming ACAC Air Navigation Committee meeting.
The SIRAJ project is a European Commission funded FP7 project managed by the European GNSS Agency (GSA). It started in October 2010 and is working to support the extension of EGNOS services and safety critical operations into the areas covered by the Arab Civil Aviation Commission (ACAC) and the Agence pour la Sécurite de la Navigation Aérienne en Afrique et à Madagascar (ASECNA). Its main aims are to demonstrate the benefits of EGNOS in the civil aviation domain and implement actions that can build a cooperation framework between European and regional stakeholders for the successful extension of EGNOS operations into the region.
The SIRAJ project is capitalising on the previous EU-funded METIS project, which scoped out the possibilities for using EGNOS in different transport and non-transport domains, laid out a regional plan and evaluated the cost and benefits of adopting of the technology in the Mediterranean region. Aviation is the sector that can benefit most from EGNOS.
EGNOS today, Galileo tomorrow
EGNOS, Europe’s ‘pre- Galileo' system, is a satellite-based augmentation system that is currently in operation. It improves the accuracy of the open public service offered by GPS.
The EGNOS Open Service, which is freely available to anyone with an SBAS-enabled receiver, has been available since October 2009 and is suitable for most common location applications. EGNOS was certified for use by civil aviation in March 2011.
Galileo is scheduled to begin delivering initial services from 2014. Fully interoperable with the USA’s GPS, it will provide highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning services.
SIRAJ (SBAS Implementation in the regions ACAC and ASENCA) project
METIS (Mediterranean Introduction of GNSS Services) project