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Aviation can significantly benefit from satellite navigation signals. They are globally available and enable a uniform quality of navigation throughout all phases of flight.

Traditionally aviation relies on costly ground-radio navigation systems near airports for landing operations. EGNOS has been designed to answer aviation needs for secured landing approaches through its Safety of Life service.

This service guarantees the position given by the receiver is inside certain boundaries. It offers an integrity function that warns pilots within 6 seconds of a malfunction. It may be used for en-route navigation and allows for IFR-like (Instrument flight rules) operation in airports without ground-radio navigation systems.

By reducing the angle of approach and improving lateral guidance, EGNOS may increase airports’ capacity and avoid installation of expensive land-based navigation aids.

Aircraft may rely on this technology for intercontinental journeys, as EGNOS is completely inter-operable with other Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) such as the US WAAS, the Japanese MSAS or the forthcoming Indian GAGAN. Despite its relatively small size (around 90 000 GNSS units shipped in 2010), the aviation sector has a significant productivity impact on the whole European private sector.