Raytheon will introduce a new satellite-based aircraft navigation system in India during 2013, which is expected to improve safety in the country’s crowded airspace, while also streamlining air traffic management.
The new GPS-aided Geosynchronous Augmented Navigation System (GAGAN) could offer 20% savings for airlines in fuel costs, as well as enhance safety, reduce congestion and improve communications.
Raytheon Asia president William Blair was quoted by Reuters as saying to get 20% on fuel burn is an enormous opportunity for airlines. "It makes or breaks their business model," Blair said.
"There is a business model and a business value for the airlines, and also for civil aviation and [the] Airports Authority of India."
The new system will use three satellites and offer satellite-based guidance for civil aviation over Indian airspace and adjoining areas in south and east Asian airspace.
The Indian version of a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) would improve precision offered by the US Global Positioning System (GPS).
Upon the commencement of operations, GAGAN is also expected to help the aircraft fly straight rather than ‘zig zag’ mounting paths during an ascent phase, while assisting in planning shorter routes.
Raytheon international communications director Caroline Harris was cited by the Deccan Chronicle as saying that India will have the most modern air space management system in the world when GAGAN comes online.
"Think about it, the US has had an SBAS system since 1997, but it’s an older system; US airports are old, and US aircraft fleet is old," Harris said.
Equipment for the system, including the space segment and additional ground equipment, is being supplied by the Indian Space Research Association and the Airports Authority of India, who are also responsible for integration and operation of the system.
The US defence firm was awarded a contract by India in 2009 to build an air traffic control system that allows point-to-point flights rather than aircraft being manoeuvred by ground-based control towers.
Image: Raytheon’s GAGAN system is aimed at enhancing safety in India’s airspace, while enhancing communications and meeting the country’s growing air traffic management needs.