New programme aims to reduce air accident rate in Africa

PAN AFRICAN AIR TRAFFIC PROGRAMME HOPES TO IMPROVE AVIATION SAFETY

(Posted 26th July 2016)

Africa has just 3% of global air traffic, and yet air accidents on the continent account for roughly 20% of the worldwide total. These statistics are dominated by controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) events and can be significantly mitigated via Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) based instrument flight procedures for which SBAS capabilities provide an underpinning solution.

The SBAS-AFRICAproject led by Avanti Communications deploys a satellite-based augmentation system testbed which uses two Avanti satellites, ARTEMIS and HYLAS 2. A navigation transponder on-board the ARTEMIS spacecraft provides navigation data broadcast services to aircraft operating over Africa. The HYLAS 2 satellite ensures reliable high-performance data communications for the SBAS infrastructure. This links GNSS monitoring stations in Africa with navigation data processing platforms in Europe.

The project currently serves South Africa and West Africa, and will be extended to serve significant additional regions of the African continent‘ said David Williams, CEO of Avanti Communications before adding ‘The programme is funded under the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Space Programme (IPSP) and establishes a unique collaboration between the UK and South Africa via the South African National Space Agency (SANSA)‘.

SBAS-AFRICA, offering enhanced satellite navigation signals over Africa, demonstrates the benefits of SBAS services in the aviation sector. These benefits include the implementation of instrument approaches where none existed before due to infrastructure limitations; consequent extension of airport operating capacity and safety enhancement; aircraft routing via more direct routes, enabling operational flexibility, lower fuel consumption, less noise and fewer delays and decommissioning of older, expensive ground based navigation equipment.

The technology can be used for other SBAS services, as it can benefit a wide range of market sectors, including: aviation, maritime, rail, road, timing & communications, agriculture (precision farming), search & rescue, land survey and a host of location based services in the consumer marketplace. SBAS services can provide capability and efficiency gains across those market sectors to drive extensive economic benefits.

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