ESSP, the designated EGNOS system operator and provider of its Safety-of-Life (SoL) service, launched the procedure to remove the ‘MT0’ warning from the EGNOS Signal in Space on 2 August 2010, in order to start broadcasting EGNOS integrity messages.
EGNOS has been transmitting the MT0 signal as a warning that it should not be used for applications where lives might be endangered, such as when guiding or landing aircraft.
A transition work plan is being prepared in cooperation with ESA and industry, aimed at enabling the start of the SoL service in November of this year, as planned. This could include the carrying out of further tests. For the latest information on the progress of the SoL service, members of the EGNOS user community can consult the ESSP User support website.
Once the Safety-of-Life service is declared operational, pilots will be able to use the EGNOS APV approaches for landing without needing ground-based navigation equipment and achieve performances similar to those provided by Instrument Landing Systems (ILS Cat. I).
In a Safety Airworthiness Bulletin issued on 12 July, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said that although EGNOS-enabled GPS receivers will be processing SBAS signals, no impact is expected on the operation of the currently approved GPS-based procedures.
“Operations specifically requiring the use of EGNOS-enabled receivers for vertical guidance, such as APV SBAS approaches down to LPV minima, are not allowed in any case before the EGNOS SoL Service declaration of the European Commission,” EASA stated. “In order to perform such operations, specific installation certification and operational approval from the competent Authority is required.”
The French National Supervisory Authority granted ESSP the certificate of Air Navigation Service Provider on 12 July. The certification is proof that ESSP fulfils the criteria necessary to safely provide air navigation services in Europe.
The certification was conducted by the Direction de la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile ( DSAC), part of the French Direction Genérale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC), and in cooperation with the national supervisory authorities of Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.
The European Commission owns and manages EGNOS. The European Space Agency (ESA) is the design and procurement agent through a delegation agreement with the Commission.
In April last year, the Commission assigned the service provision of EGNOS to ESSP. The company is based in Toulouse, France and was founded by seven key European air navigation service providers: AENA (Spain), DFS (Germany), DSNA (France), ENAV (Italy), NATS (UK), NAV (Portugal) and Skyguide (Switzerland).
EGNOS, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, is Europe's first venture into the field of satellite navigation and paves the way for Galileo, Europe's independent global satellite navigation system currently under development. The EGNOS Open Service has been available since October 2009.
In the aviation sector, EGNOS is expected to provide greater safety through its increased precision. Small and medium-sized airports that cannot afford to invest in ground-based navigation aids such as ILS, can use EGNOS by publishing an APV landing procedure for aircraft equipped with a certified SBAS receiver.
For larger airports that are equipped with ground-based navigation aids, EGNOS provides a reliable back-up to those systems.
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