The Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) and Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) began broadcasting a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) signal, providing a major boost to satellite and aviation navigation tools used in African and Indian ocean regions.
In a statement, the ASECNA said the SBAS system will be beamed from the NIGCOMSAT-1R Satellite, with Nigerian government-owned NIGCOMSAT managing and operating the satellite.
Provision of the SBAS service will “augment the performances of the satellite navigation constellations GPS and Galileo”. By providing improved navigation accuracy within a metre, boosting integrity and availability, the SBAS signal is expected to “improve flight safety and efficiency in Africa” and bring “benefit" to economies.
Next steps for the open service is to carry out field demonstrations with airline companies, to demonstrate the benefit of SBAS services, which is expected to roll out from 2024. The tests will also include satellite navigation system Precise Point Positioning and an emergency warning service.
"The use of our geostationary communication satellite NIGCOMSAT-1R navigation payload to broadcast the first signal will be Africa’s premier contribution to SBAS as a regional satellite-based augmentation system for the continent”, said Dr Abimbola Alale, MD and CEO of NIGCOMSAT.
“The provision of the first African SBAS early service is a crucial major step forward in the development of satellite navigation in the AFI (African-Indian) region, and in the deployment of the SBAS for Africa and Indian Ocean system, the navigation solution for Africa by Africa. It demonstrates the ambition and commitment of ASECNA to enhance air navigation safety for the benefit of the whole continent, in line with my vision for the unification of the African Sky”, added Mohamed Moussa, director-general of ASECNA.