GSA lands safely at Prague’s EGNOS-enabled Airport for Runway Park 2020

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The European GNSS Agency and its crew touched down on the runway of the Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague to highlight the benefits of the EU Space Programme in the Czech Republic.

GSA’s crew took part to the Runway Park 2020, an event gathering aviation enthusiasts, plane spotters and families, held at the old runway of Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport. During the event, the apron is transformed into an open-air exhibition offering a wide range of activities for all age groups. True to its mission – linking space to user needs - the European GNSS Agency was there to raise awareness about the EU Space programme and the benefits it is already delivering to citizens and business alike.

With over 2000 visitors, at the GSA stand, people had the chance to experience and learn about applications based on the EU Space Programme, in particular Galileo and EGNOS. The lifesaving capabilities of the EU space technologies took centre stage when visitors experienced a helicopter rescue on the snow-capped Alps with the help of Galileo, while crafty hands were busy honing their space skills by building small scale satellite mock-ups, taking quizzes and winning prizes.

A highlight of this four-day event was the “Land with EGNOS” flight simulator. Visitors were able to “land” an Airbus A350 using EGNOS, the EU’s regional navigation system that provides the additional reliability essential for applications where position integrity is critical, such as in the aviation sector.

“EGNOS is a win-win solution for the airliners, the airports and the ANSP´s. It makes airports accessible under bad weather conditions while it is central to the safety of passengers and crew. EGNOS based approach procedures can be implemented at many airports without the need to invest in conventional facilities. Such procedures are published at all airports where Air Navigation Service of the Czech Republic provides services and air carriers can benefit from increased safety and accessibility of the airports,“ said Jan Klas, Director General at the Air Navigation Service of the Czech Republic.

Prague Airport, an early adopter of the EGNOS technology, will soon release a Corporate Social Responsibility report emphasizing how the system can help the airport go greener.

“Investing in EU Space technology is pivotal for rolling out cleaner forms of transport while ensuring a sustainable European economy. To this day, more than 350 European airports have implemented EGNOS procedures, and the GSA is working with Member States, airlines, air traffic regulators and airports to increase this number and accelerate progress towards the ambitious EU Green Deal,” concludes Pascal Claudel, Acting Executive Director at the GSA.