India on Monday launched its satellite-based air navigation services, thereby joining a select league comprising the US, Europe Union (EU) and Japan which have similar systems.
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju dedicated the services to the nation in a ceremony here.
The system -- known as Gagan or global positioning system (GPS) aided geo-augmented navigation system -- is intended to provide accurate navigation services over the Bay of Bengal, southeast Asia, Indian Ocean, Middle East and African regions.
Gagan works by augmenting and relaying data from GPS satellites with the help of two augmentation satellites and 15 earth-based reference stations.
The process corrects any anomalies in the position data and gives accurate routes, landing guidance and time saving information to the pilots.
Gagan also fills a vital gap between EU's "European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service" (EGNOS) and Japan's "Multi-functional Satellite Augmentation System" (MSAS) coverage areas.
"It took 15 years to achieve this feat. When Indians work as a team they deliver. Now the need is to spread the word about the potential uses of this system," Raju said.
"We will reach out to the end users, other government departments and even the neighbouring countries which can use this system."
GNSS.asia project is funded by the European Union within the Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no 287244.