Support to the air transport sector and satellite service applications

Regional workshop on the capacity building for the implementation of SBAS/EGNOS in Western and Central Africa

On the 28th and 29th of June 2017, JPO jointly organised with the ECCAS General, Secretariat the second regional workshop on the Capacity building for the implementation of SBAS/EGNOS in Western and Central Africa at Kinshasa, in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo).

Under the theme “beyond aviation, benefits for maritime, agriculture, road and rail transport, cadastral, as well as location Based Services applications, 28 High Level officials participants attended the workshop coming from Congo, Sao-tome and Principe, Republic of Central Africa, Burundi, Cameroon, and from regional organisations such as AAMAC, ASSA-AC, ECCAS, CICOS (Commission Inter-regional du Bassin Congo-Oubangui-Sangha) also representing Gabon, ASECNA through its representation in Congo, and the DRC. Several DRC Government officials marked their presence among whom from Ministry of Transport Civil Aviation Authority, DRC ANSP (RVA), The Department of Rail transport, The Department of In-land Waterways.

In its opening speech, Mr Johnny MULOMBA Moustapha, representing the Vice Prime Minister, Minister of transport of Congo, who after presenting the genesis of the satellite navigation programme in Africa, commended the conclusions of the last meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee of the African union in Lomé (13th to 17th March 2017) which recognized progress achieved on Capacity Building by the African EGNOS programme and recommended the conduct of a Cost benefit Analysis study and strategy for the deployment of EGNOS in Africa.

Then, JPO experts presented several topics of interest covering technical, institutional and economic aspects of GNSS/SBAS technologies, the advantages of their applications in aviation, maritime and other non-aviation sectors, and the requirements related to the implementation of SBAS/EGNOS in western and central Africa.

Thanks to the active contribution of all participants, the workshop was concluded with a set of of recommendations among which the creation of focal points in each ECCAS Member State to act as interfaces which will ease data collection, as per Joint action plan 2016-2017 and in accordance to article 2.2 of the memorandum of cooperation signed between ECCAS General Secretariat and its Members with JPO. This will also ease the conduct of economic and impact analysis studies related to the implementation of SBAS/EGNOS in the region, notably towards AAMAC, ASSA-AC, OMAOC and CICOS. The set-up of a proper work plan between JPO and DRC in order to carry out impact study on the Inland Waterways Navigation and the offer to ECCAS Member States which are not part of ASECNA, to jointly take part to on-going studies on the definition of ASECNA SBAS system were also addressed.

The Meeting was adjourned by the Vice Prime minister who in his closing speech recalled the tremendous potential of DRC in Transport sector, strong of its wide country area coverage, rich of nine neighbouring countries, many air navigation routes and as such, DRC Country is naturally prone for GNSS/EGNOS technology in order to optimize its Air transport safety and its Capacity in multimodal transport services. As a result, he requested to the ECCAS Secretariat General, as Programme manager of the Project, to federate all energies in order to effectively master the technology, in view of its smooth implementation, in accordance to the Objective defined in the ECCAS treaty.

Before concluding by saying that he will transmit workshop recommendations to the government, the representative of the Vice premier minister called states member to speak the same voice by indicating that ECCAS and states member have decided to explore in the frame of African unique sky , the possibilities of deployment of SBAS in central Africa in strong coordination with CEDEAO, UEMOA and CEMAC.