Support to the air transport sector and satellite service applications

Kigali hosts EGNOS-SBAS Workshop

On September 5-7 2016, the Rwandan capital hosted the first regional workshop organised by the JPO in conjunction with EAC and IGAD, on the theme “Implementation of EGNOS - Satellite Based Augmentation System in Eastern Africa”, at the LEMIGO HOTEL, Kigali, Rwanda.

The workshop was officially opened by the Honourable Dr NZAHABWANIMANA Alexis, Minister of State in charge of Transport in the Ministry of Infrastructure of the Republic of Rwanda. In his opening address, the minister thanked the 25 participants including delegates from six countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda), the three RECs (EAC0 GAD0 C -ESA) and the JPO, on behalf of the Government of Rwanda.

The organisation of this kind of joint workshop, for the first time in Africa, reaffirms the commitments of the three organisations to work together in creating awareness and building capacity of EAC and IGAD stakeholders on the EGNOS Support in Africa Programme regarding the creation of the proposed Eastern Africa EGNOS SBAS module.

He recalled the policies adopted and strategic decisions on the enhancement of aviation safety in Africa and the establishment of a single African air transport market. He informed the participants that the current capacity and efficiency of the air navigation system in Africa is one of the bottlenecks in their implementation.
He emphasised the demonstration of the technical feasibility and economic viability of the EGNOS - SBAS as key considerations not only in the decision-making process but also in securing stakeholders’ support and users’ adoption of the SBAS services.

The Honourable Minister reminded the JPO team to always keep in mind their commitment to Africa by ensuring that the Africa/Europe international cooperation on satellite navigation benefits both parties, and that Africa expects benefits from the partnership through EGNOS-SBAS technology transfer.

The workshop presentations and discussions, which were moderated by the Director of Air Navigation Services Rwanda CAA in the absence of the Uganda High Commissioner, the Director General Tanzania Civil Aviation, the Director General Ethiopia Civil Aviation and the Director General Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, embraced various topics including enhancing aviation safety through international cooperation through the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, the various main satellite navigation systems for aviation, from fundamentals on GNSS to an overview of GNSS systems to Aircraft Based Augmentation System (ABAS), Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS), Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) including its applications and benefits, GNSS/SBAS technology and world trends.

The specific case of Africa was then addressed through the proposed Roadmap for EGNOS Service Implementation in Africa and the specific requirements of the Eastern Africa Module, from economic, institutional, and legal aspects. This was concluded with the technical considerations and the proposed Joint Action Plan, which was agreed between JPO and EAC.

The workshop was concluded with a set of six recommendations on the way forward for the implementation of GNSS/ SBAS in Africa.

The Director General of Rwanda Civil Aviation officiated at the closing ceremony. In his closing remarks he thanked the JPO Director and team for the information provided to participants through the workshop presentations and the outcomes, and emphasised the need for timely implementation of the Joint Action Plan to make the SBAS programme a reality in the region.