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Satellite navigation : The last mile to securing an ASECNA/EU agreement

Satellite navigation : The last mile to securing an ASECNA/EU agreement

The European Commission Director-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW) Ms Lowri Evans and the Director General of ASECNA, Mr. Amadou Ousmane Guitteye initialed in Brussels on May 21, a draft international agreement that was concluded after negotiations.

The initialing of the draft agreement followed the last negotiation meeting held in Dakar on past April 4 and 5. During the meeting both ASECNA and the European Commission finalized the main negotiation round, which started in March 2015. The negotiation was on securing an international agreement for the development of satellite navigation coupled with EGNOS and GALILEO-based services provision.

During the ceremony, Ms. Evans recalled the desire of the European Union to forge a strong partnership with Africa in the area of air transport with the view to enhancing integration doubled with sustaining economic and social development. She also indicated that the use of satellite-based technology was a catalyst to achieving such an objective. She firstly said she was impressed by not only the scope of responsibilities but also the area of skilled interventions of ASECNA. She later buttressed the importance of satellite navigation for the improvement, at best acceptable costs, of safety of air navigation services, flights efficiency and accessibility to regional airports.

Taking the floor later Mr. Guitteye restressed the expected benefits of the project by reiterating that the provision, in the area under coverage by ASECNA, of EGNOS and GALILEO-based services constitutes a major strategic move. It will not only meet the operational objectives relative to the enhancement of services provided to users, namely through the Approach Procedure with Vertical Guidance, but also prepare strategically the future of the Agency through the mastery of a state-of-the-art technology and the provision of high valued-added services to users beyond the usual preserve of ASECNA.

Both Ms. Evans and Mr. Guitteye underscored the importance of the international agreement for the attainment of shared objectives relative to the development of satellite navigation at an international level.

They jointly expressed the hope that the concluded agreement enters into effect before the year ends, but prior to that the initialed draft will quickly be tabled for a formal validation stage within the EU Institutional system.

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