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June 30th, 2014
Tunisia Paves Way for EU Satellite Systems in Euromed Region

In order to spread the use of EU satellite navigation services across the region, starting with EGNOS and later Galileo as well, the Euromed Civil Aviation II expert Gilles Fartek said that ‘open sky’ agreements should be broadened, regional regulations should be harmonized with international ones and greater cooperation with civil and military authorities should be brought in. EGNOS procedures are in place in many Italian and European airports, making it possible even in airports lacking ground facilities to carry out vertical landings with the maximum amount of precision, including in low visibility conditions. Given the accuracy of the signals, planes can follow more direct trajectories and save both flight time and fuel. Large-scale use of the system will enable substantial savings in installation of ground facilities and maintenance costs.

MEDUSA, a European project coordinated by Telespazio (Finmeccanica/Thales) and funded by the EU Commission, fosters and facilitates initiatives connected with E-GNSS in the Euromed region and helps implement assistance to the prject. ENAV participates in the program with a group of experts for verification purposes such as in Monastir, carried out with its Piaggio P180. The possibility of expanding EGNOS into sub-Saharan Africa through the SAFIR/JPO project via the startegic partnership between Africa and the EU.

The conference conveyed the message that technical-level cooperation should be flanked by institutional and regulation-related cooperation for the EU system to be implemented. ‘Today’s findings go beyond simply the MEDUSA project,” director Antonella Di Fazio told ANSAmed, ”since the participants’ interest in the results show their applicability to all nations and the feasibility of extending them to other, non-EU nations. A lot remains to be done but we are moving in the right direction and we need to grasp the moment.” Delegates from Euromed nations will meet in Brussels at the seventh Euromed GNSS Working Group, a regular meeting with the EU Commission. Given the discussion in Tunis, the October meeting ”will be especially important,” Di Fazio said, ”as concerns the operative introduction of EGNOS and Galileo services in aviation”.