Excerpts from the 4th Regional Outreach Event on SBAS Implementation and Use in Africa

In continuation of its efforts to increase awareness of the benefits of implementing the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) in Africa, the SatNav Africa Joint Programme Office (JPO) in collaboration with the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (RCAA) organised the 4th outreach event from 5-7 July 2022 in Kigali Rwanda, destined to aviation and non-aviation experts from Eastern African Region.

Themed “Satellite Navigation for the Eastern Africa Region: SBAS State of play and use in Aviation”, the hybrid outreach event has been attended by stakeholders drawn from the African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) including the EAC, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), the East African Community Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (EAC CASSOA) as well as various Air Navigation Service Providers including ASECNA, Collins Aerospace and European SBAS Service Provider ESSP. 

At the opening of the three-day gathering, Director of JPO Mr Semou Diouf said, the workshop eyes at sensitising stakeholders on the numerous benefits of SBAS for the aviation and non-aviation sectors thereby enhancing the acceptance and adoption of the technology in the region. 

Director-General of the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority Mr Silas Udahemuka expressed full support for Satellite Navigation implementation in the region, highlighting its versatile uses. He highlighted the fact that the global aviation industry at all levels (manufacturers and operators and air navigation service providers) are currently at an advanced stage in adopting and integrating SBAS technology to take advantage of the SBAS benefits. Therefore Africa should not be left behind in that journey.

Acting Head of Transport and Mobility Division with the Infrastructure and Energy Department of AUC, Eric Ntagengerwa, highlighted that the African Union promotes a continental approach toward the implementation of SBAS, recalling the successful completion of the study on the Cost-Benefit Analysis of the application of (SBAS) in Africa commissioned by the AUC whose results were presented to a wide range of stakeholders at a workshop held in Kigali end of May 2022.

The outcome of the workshop showcased that SBAS is gaining popularity and acceptance among African stakeholders whose application will enhance efficiency in various aviation as well as non-aviation applications. According to Eric the outreach event is instrumental in bringing together concerned bodies and enhancing common understanding to hasten the development and adoption of vital governance and institutional frameworks for SBAS.

The Kigali outreach event shed light on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology, aviation applications benefits including Performance Based Navigation plans, the status of different regional SBAS programmes and initiatives including a review of outcomes of the demonstrations undertaken by the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) which provided better visibility on the performance of SBAS in Africa.

Other previous outreach events and field demonstrations had been conducted by ASECNA in 2021 in Lomé, Togo for the Aviation sector, in Douala Cameroon for Helicopters, and in Brazzaville Congo for precise positioning and alerting services. The Outreach event came to a close with confidence that the eastern Africa region will take the necessary measures to take the implementation of SBAS in the Eastern African Region to the next step.