India could lease satellite-based system to neighbours: expert

GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) -- the ambitious project jointly developed by Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) -- conducted the Final Acceptance Test in July, paving the way for its scheduled commissioning in mid-2013.

The Rs 774-crore project would enable the air traffic management system to achieve smooth transition to satellite-based seamless navigation across continents. It would cover the airspace from Australia to Africa and from southeast and west Asia to China and Russia. India would be the fourth nation after the US, Europe and Japan to have this technology.

"The technology can be leased by India to neighbouring countries to manage their air traffic as well as overflights. Leasing will generate substantial funds for India," William Blair, President, Raytheon India, told PTI here.

In July, a team of AAI, ISRO and Raytheon completed the Final System Acceptance Test of GAGAN in Bangalore in which the actual performance of the system was demonstrated successfully.

The certification by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is scheduled soon after completion of the Operational Testing performed by AAI in 2013.

On completion of its final operational phase, GAGAN would be compatible with other similar space-based systems like Wide Area Augmentation System of the US, European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service and the Multi-functional Satellite Augmentation System of Japan.

Raytheon is building ground stations for the GAGAN system, while ISRO and AAI are providing the space segment, additional ground equipment as well as participating in the integration and operation of the system. (MORE)