EGNOS Workshop 2024 Highlights

Thursday, March 21, 2024
Aerial image of Dublin announcing the EGNOS workshop

The European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), together with European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP), held a two-day meeting in Dublin last week. More than 130 people participated from 23 different countries, including national air navigation service providers and authorities, civil aircraft operators, maritime receiver’s manufacturers, rotorcraft and drone operators as well as maritime users and authorities. Two days were fully committed to EGNOS, its performance on the different services, roadmaps, market adoption and its present and future applications in different transport domains.


At the beginning of the event, EUSPA officially declared the new EGNOS Safety of Life Assisted Service for MAritime Users (ESMAS). The EGNOS service portfolio is broadening its horizons, and ESMAS has become  a reality after several years of intense work to obtain it. This service is open and free of charge.

“ESMAS service offers a complement to national DGNSS services using existing EGNOS L1 SIS. Target users are merchant vessels navigating in ocean waters, harbor entrances, harbor approaches and coastal waters”, said Ester Armengou Miret, EGNOS Services Operational Manager at European Union Agency for the Space Programme.

During this workshop, attendees were also able to receive insights from marine receiver manufacturer Kongsberg and IEC standards. They also experienced a live demonstration of the operation of an EGNOS maritime receiver.

The session then continued with the EGNOS Safety of Life service in aviation and UTM domains, in which EGNOS is the reference for civil aviation operations. Carmen Aguilera, Mobility and Operational Market development Manager at EUSPA, offered current figures of EGNOS implementation in this domain, where more than 950 procedures are already published in Europe. Moreover, EGNOS is providing environmental benefits and supporting all weather operations.

Charlotte Neyret, ESSP CEO, highlighted the broad user base of EGNOS, noting: "Looking at the user side, the results are even more impressive: 33 countries in total, all EU countries and Guernsey, Iceland, Jersey, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, and Switzerland, have at least one LPV published or in preparation demonstrating the growing reach and impact of EGNOS."

The reality is that PBN regulation opened a new paradigm for air traffic leading to EGNOS approaches in all airports in Europe. We are moving towards a full PBN environment EGNSS enabled by 2030.

EGNOS is going beyond the LPV approaches and is becoming the reference for helicopter operations, enabling emergency and medical operations at any time and under any weather condition, as well as for new space users who are joining innovative operations that require robust navigation. For example, drones are a new frontier, where EGNOS is increasingly used, from drone delivery to future air taxis.

When looking at the evolution of the EGNOS system in the program status slot, the speakers focused on explaining the achievement of an important milestone with the release of EGNOS 2.4.2.B in 2023, which makes the system currently more robust against disturbances produced by the Solar Cycle 25. Significant improvements, thanks to the 2.4.2.B release, were reported in the north of the EGNOS service area.

The GNSS SBAS systems performance varies with the solar activity and ionospheric behaviour. This is well known and represents a major challenge for GNSS system designers and equipment manufacturers. The peak of the current Solar Cycle 25 is now expected between January and October 2024.

The workshop continued with several inspiring presentations on successful cases of EGNOS implementation in the fields of aviation and drones. Many stakeholders had the opportunity to explain the benefits of using EGNOS, which is crucial in many activities. We heard different points of view from users, such as presentations from Airbus or Air France, in which they pointed out SBAS main benefits for them, such as LNAV/VNAV barometric adjustments, fuel savings, reduced noise exposure, shorter trajectories and closer alternatives among others. We also heard the experience from Manna, who are using EGNOS for parcel delivery in Ireland and planning to expand their business to other countries. 

At the end of Day 1, there was an EGNOS Awards Ceremony to recognize the main actors involved in the adoption of EGNOS within the Aviation field:  ANSPs having recently signed an EGNOS Working Agreement (EWA) and/ or having published EGNOS-based flight procedures at their airports. Representatives from LAHTI-VESIVEHMAA AERODROME (EFLA) and SAAB DIGITAL AIR TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS (SDATS) received an EWA award and other ANSPs also received an award during the emotive ceremony. In the category of EGNOS flight procedures published, the winners were DSNA because they are the ANSP with the most LPV procedures published in Europe, and Air France, because they are the Air Operator with the greater number of EGNOS LPV-capable units currently In Service.

In the next sessions, the focus was placed on learning more about the status of other SBAS in the world, as well as knowing more about the future of EGNOS, and the transition between EGNOS V2, and EGNOS V3/DCMC. EGNOS V3 can be a game changer for the adoption of SBAS, it will improve the geographical coverage and performances on Safety of Life (SoL) services where people’s lives are potentially at stake - mainly the Civil Aviation Community. It will also boost robustness against increasing security risks, in particular cyber-security risks, such as spoofing. One of the main features of EGNOS V3 will also be that it will augment the Galileo GNSS constellation via L5, along with GPS L1: Dual Frequency, Multi Constellations (DFMC). Evolution of EGNOS beyond aviation such as for rail or SBAS authentication was also presented.

The workshop finalized reviewing multimodal applications with drones and inland waterways. The speakers were representants from pioneers’ users such as Pildo Labs, Helicus, GMV, RSOE and Infomar, that brought real- life examples of EGNOS applications.

To know more about this EGNOS Annual Workshop edition, take a look at the presentations on the Agenda.


 Looking forward to seeing you at the next EGNOS Annual Workshop!