The CEOs of the Members of the European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP) met in Rome on 19th May 2008 to agree on the process for incorporation of the new company ESSP Société par Actions simplifiée (SAS). This company will be based in Toulouse and established under French Law in the coming weeks in order to become the certified service provider for EGNOS. The current ESSP is a European Economic Interest Grouping (ESSP), which was set up in 2001 by the Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) Operators and Infrastructure Group (EOIG) investing in the EGNOS programme. EGNOS is the European satellite based augmentation to GPS, planned to be certified in 2009 for aviation under the Single European Sky regulations. It has particular benefits for air navigation approaches with vertical guidance on almost all European airports and for precision RNAV. EGNOS is designed as a multimodal system aiming at providing benefits to different categories of aeronautical and non-aeronautical users across Europe. More than 700 million Euros have been invested in EGNOS development and Initial Operations under the technical supervision of the European Space Agency (ESA).
Several in-flight operational trials have been conducted in Spain, Switzerland and France and have confirmed the capability of EGNOS-based approaches to be similar to existing precision approaches (Cat I) supported today by conventional navigation systems, in line with the high standard safety procedures of civil aviation. This will be of benefit to a large community of users by reducing cost, increasing safety and introducing extra capacity. Within the general framework of European GNSS activities, which also encompass the Galileo programme, the European Commission Communication has secured the financing of EGNOS exploitation and development for the period 2008-2013 through public EU funding. The Commission intends to place a service contract for the EGNOS operator for the mentioned period.
On 19th May 2008, the Directors/CEOs of the ESSP EEIG members agreed in Rome on the founding documents of the ESSP SAS and committed themselves to the incorporation of the new company over the coming weeks. The objective of the ESSP SAS is to become the certified service provider for EGNOS by applying for certification from the relevant national authorities. The ESSP SAS Headquarters will be based in Toulouse and will consist of two units: the Service Provision unit in Madrid and the Operations unit in Toulouse.
Furthermore, the CEOs welcomed the fact that the negotiations between the European Commission and the EOIG experts have reached a conclusion on the EGNOS Agreement and foresee to initial the Agreement in the coming weeks. The final signature of the Agreement is subject to formal approvals on both sides.
The CEOs were pleased to confirm the appointment of the current General Manager of the ESSP EEIG, Dirk Werquin, as the President for the next phase.
Source: European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP)
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