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India approves Rs.7.74 bn satellite navigation project
New Delhi, Sept 11 (IANS):
Published on 12 Sep. 2008 12:30 AM IST
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The government Thursday gave its approval to a satellite-based navigation system, which would meet the growing air traffic and strengthen aviation navigation system. “The new navigation system would increase safety, improve airport and airspace access in adverse weather conditions, and enhance reliability and reduce flight delays,” Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told reporters after a cabinet meeting. The new system, called the Geostationary Augmentation and Navigation (Gagan) project, will also help aircraft to take a straight route instead of navigating on an irregular path. “All these will contribute to reduction in fuel consumption. The new system will also enhance higher air traffic within limited airspace and reduce workload and improve productivity of air traffic controllers,” the minister added. India will become the fourth country to have a satellite-based navigation system. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Indian Satellite Research Organisation (ISRO) are developing the new navigation system with the help of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of the US. The Gagan system proposes to augment the GPS data with the help of a geo-stationary satellite to be launched by ISRO. The AAI will build the ground based infrastructure comprising reference stations, uplink earth stations and the master control centre. The Gagan project would cost Rs.7.74 billion, of which Rs.1.48 billion has already been spent in the first phase of the project. The AAI will contribute Rs.5.96 billion, which it would mobilise internally, while ISRO will account contribute Rs.1.78 billion.

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