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Indigo uses GAGAN- first airline

Published: 7th May, 2022


India achieved a major landmark when the Airports Authority of India (AAI) successfully conducted a trial applied the latest technology developed by an indigenous satellite based augmentation system (SBAS) called GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation) at the Kishangarh airport in Rajasthan.

  • The IndiGo aircraft flew an aircraft with an Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) with LPV minima of 250ft, using GAGAN Service.
  • India is the first country in Asia Pacific Region to achieve this.


What is GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN)?

  • It is a Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) implemented jointly with Airport Authority of India (AAI).
  • The main objectives of GAGAN are to provide Satellite-based Navigation services with accuracy and integrity required for civil aviation applications and to provide better Air Traffic Management over Indian Airspace.
  • The system will be interoperable with other international SBAS systems and provide seamless navigation across regional boundaries.
  • The GAGAN Signal-In-Space (SIS) is available through GSAT-8 and GSAT-10.
  • GAGAN is used to provide lateral and vertical guidance when an aircraft is approaching a runway for landing.
  • Its precision is especially useful at small airports where the instrument landing system (ILS) has not been installed.
  • In India's civil aviation sector, GAGAN will modernise the airspace, reduce flight delays, save fuel and improve flight safety.

Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS)

  • The SBAS is a navigation system, which builds on the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GLONASS), and adds to the accuracy and integrity of these navigation tools.
  • For aircraft operators, both civilian and military, it means that pilots can land aircraft at smaller airports and airstrips using navigation guidance without expensive instrument-based landing systems being installed on the ground.

Some of the benefits GAGAN is expected to bring for Civil Aviation sector are:

  • Safety benefits – Vertical guidance improves safety, especially in adverse weather conditions
  • Reduction of circling approaches
  • Environmental benefits–Approach with Vertical Guidance procedures will help facilitate better energy and descent profile management during the final approach
  • Global seamless navigation for all phases of flight including arrival, departure, oceanic and en route
  • Allow direct routings, multiple approaches resulting in considerable fuel savings to airlines and provide for capacity enhancement of airports and airspace

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