New Delhi: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is moving ahead with several major measures to shift from ground to satellite-based communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS) systems in order to cope with the burgeoning air traffic in the country. It has already placed 40 Indian airports on satellite-based systems and would cover 40 more by the end of the year, AAI chairman, K Ramalingam, told a workshop on CNS and air traffic management (ATM) in the country.
The public sector organization is tasked with providing CNS services to aircraft flying over 3.8 million square kms of oceanic region, apart from the landmass of 2.2 sq kms.
It is also testing the prototype of the GAGAN system, jointly developed with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Ramalingam further said. He was speaking at a workshop organised by the Asia Pacific Aviation Media Association (APAMA) here.
The ambitious Rs644 crore GPS-based Geo Augmentation Navigation (GAGAN) project would provide augmented information for satellite navigation to aircraft flying over Indian airspace and the routes over the high seas, he said.
According to Ramalingam, India would only be the fourth such entity in the world, after the US, EU and Japan to have such a sophisticated system. AAI has already acquired three KingAir aircraft fitted with the required equipment to test and calibrate the system, which is now being operated for trials through the INMARSAT.
The final technology demonstration test of the GAGAN would be conducted in the next few months and the system would be made operational by 2010, he said.