African Union and European Union Experts Meet at EGNOS Stakeholder Workshop in Brussels

Tuesday, 14 September, 2010

The projected benefits of EGNOS for regional airports on the African continent are numerous, including safer landings, increased efficiency, reliable services for passengers and better access to remote regions with less well equipped airports. EGNOS’ coverage already extends into parts of North Africa and the Middle East, with further expansion into the rest of the continent expected to come up during the third EU-Africa Summit, billed for Tripoli, Libya, at the end of November 2010.

These issues amongst others were discussed during the 2nd EGNOS African experts for the Stakeholders' Workshop which took place on 14th September 2010 in Brussels, Belgium. Mr. Michel Bosco, Deputy Head of Unit in charge of satellite navigation international relations at the European Commission, Directorate for Industry and Entrepreneurship, indicated that, the European Commission (EC) and the Africa Union Commission (AUC) are currently drafting a joint concept paper that will guide decision-makers as they consider the development of important EGNOS services for the African continent.

Representing the African Union Commission, Mr. David Kajange, Head of the Transport and Tourism Division, Department of Infrastructure and Energy, expressed satisfaction to the joint efforts of the AU and EU to working together as partners to ensure the effective implementation of the Lisbon Declaration and Action Plan within the framework of the AU/EU Strategic Partnership.

Mr. Stefano Scarda of the European Commission, on his part underscored the need to enhance urge both Member States to fully commit themselves to the development of aviation and space security in accordance with the advanced modern technologies.  “SBAS is a technology that delivers an economically efficient solution to the whole African aviation community, both large and small players, to comply with evolving standard requirements imposed at international level by ICAO." He noted.

Mr. Adiron Alberto from the African Union Commission said, "There can be no u-turn for GNSS. The adoption of SBAS in Africa is critical. We need international co-operation, we need a global consensus, with Africa as a full partner, and we need to address the concerns of African aviation experts."

The European Union Delegation to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was represented in this meeting by Mr. Harry De Backer, First Counselor, responsible for Information Society, Science, Space Technologies and Higher Education.