According to official sources, India’s government is exploring several options, including reduced charges for air navigation services.
The Indian government may soon announce incentives to airline operators for installing the locally developed Aided Geo Augmented Navigation system (GAGAN). The aviation ministry, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Airports Authority of India are expected to meet the airlines soon to discuss the matter.
GAGAN is intended to provide accurate navigation services over the Bay of Bengal, Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and part of Africa. Gagan works by augmenting and relaying data from GPS
satellites with the help of two augmentation sinatellites and 15 earth-based reference stations. It corrects any anomalies in the position data and gives accurate routes, landing guidance and time-saving information to the pilots.
Gagan also fills a vital gap between the coverage areas of the EU’s “European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service” (EGNOS) and Japan’s “Multi-functional Satellite Augmentation System” (MSAS).
When it launched the system in July 2015, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) claimed “GAGAN is better than any GPS as it ensures that at any given point in time, the measurements are reliable.”
However, the flight operators seem to be reluctant to take to the indigenous technology, forcing the government to have to second-guess its decision to make it mandatory for all aircraft flying in Indian airspace to install GAGAN receivers starting from April 1, 2019. Later, the date was revised to May 2019.
However, operators have yet to negotiate with aircraft makers the installation of GAGAN receivers on board the 660 new planes which they have ordered. These include narrow-body, wide-body and small ATR turboprop planes that would start arriving next year.
Currently, Indian carriers use a GPS-based air navigation system that requires GPS-GNSS (global positioning system and global navigation satellite system) receivers for air navigation and operational use such as landing, take-off and general flight operations.
Launched in July 2015, the 77.4 mln rupiah GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation system is being jointly developed by the Airports Authority of India and the Indian Space Research Organisztion.