Indian aircraft would have to upgrade avionic systems soon

Last Updated: Monday, March 10, 2014 - 20:16

New Delhi: All Indian aircraft would have to upgrade their avionic systems soon to match with India`s own satellite-based navigation system GAGAN, to be launched later this year, a top official said on Monday.
If the airlines can take advantage of the GPS-aided Geo-Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system by equipping their aircraft with matching avionics, almost USD 10 million worth of jet fuel could be saved annually, Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Lavasa said.

He was indicating at the fact that a lot of fuel could be saved as the GAGAN system would help pilots navigate in all- weather conditions by an accuracy of up to three metres.

It would enable an aircraft to fly on a specific path between two three-dimensional defined points, straighten routes and reduce fuel burn. Such a capability would also help in landing an aircraft in tough weather and terrain.

Addressing an ASSOCHAM event here, Lavasa said "virtually require all aircraft to be equipped with GNSS (global navigation satellite system) avionics" in order to realise maximum benefits from the global navigation satellite system.

"Implementation decisions obviously should take into account aircraft operators` plans to equip (their fleet), which in turn depends upon cost savings that justify avionics and related costs," he said.

The Secretary also said that air navigation service (ANS) providers and aircraft operators would be required to work together and co-ordinate investments in the GNSS technology.

"With the proposed implementation of Indian indigenous regional network of satellites by India and with GAGAN becoming fully operational by the year end from en route to approach, the operators would be well-advised to embrace satellite based navigation considering its inherent benefits," Lavasa said.

Maintaining that India was poised to become the third largest market in terms of air traffic growth, he said satellite navigation technology was the vision of future and GAGAN was an essential cornerstone to future safety.

The first phase of the ambitious navigation system GAGAN was certified by aviation regulator DGCA in January, which would be a major step to make it fully operational in the next few months.

First Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 - 20:16
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