When planning aircraft routes and landing schedules at busy airports, it is essential to ensure that aircraft are always a safe distance from each other. "The trouble is you don’t always know where the planes are, so you have to leave a very large safety margin," says Hans Fromm, former Deputy Head of the Navigation Department at the European Space Agency (ESA). "But if you could be confident of knowing precisely where the planes are, you could reduce the margins safely and increase capacity," he adds. EGNOS and Galileo, the satellite navigation system under development in Europe, will provide a guaranteed service with sufficient accuracy to allow airlines and pilots to know their position reliably and precisely enough to make substantial efficiency savings.
Last update: 6 June 2007