Earth to EGNOS

The European Space Agency has signed an agreement with the Agency for Security of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) for the use of satellite navigation to improve air traffic safety over the African continent.

Under the contract, the organisations will extend the use of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) in Africa.

EGNOS provides modified signals sent by geostationary satellites to users’ receivers. According to ESA, this system offers an accuracy of two metres, compared with GPS signals, which have an accuracy of 15 to 20 metres.

ESA and ASECNA have been working together in Africa, where few airports are equipped with conventional landing guidance systems, since 2003. The partnership, using EGNOS, enabled the first crossing from Dakar to Mombasa in 2005.