A recent cost-benefit analysis led by Egis for the Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa (ASECNA) and supported by the EGNOS in Africa Joint Programme Office (JPO), has assessed the profitability of SBAS satellite navigation for airlines operating in the African airspace at over €625m and forecast a reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 7m tonnes for the period 2025-2045.
Studies have shown that SBAS services will significantly and sustainably improve flight safety and efficiency and will be especially beneficial in Africa where the geographic landscape and operating environment means that only 15% of runway thresholds are served by precision approaches. Now, a new cost benefit analysis (CBA) undertaken by Egis through Thales AS, as part of the SBAS for Africa and Indian Ocean programme led by ASECNA has looked specifically at the profits of SBAS to airlines – the users of the service. The results were reviewed on 29 July at a virtual workshop organised by ASECNA with partner airlines Air Cote d’Ivoire, ASKY, Air France and Air Senegal.
The CBA shows that, for ASECNA’s airspace operations, net profits for airlines will be more than €300m. For operations in the whole Sub Saharan airspace, net profits will exceed €650m. Importantly, over the same period, CO2 emissions will be reduced by more than 7 million tonnes. In terms of payback time, the airlines’ investment in SBAS airborne capability is repaid within two to four years of operational rollout of the service.
Louis Bakienon, Director of Air Navigation Operations at ASECNA, directing the SBAS for Africa & Indian Ocean programme, comments: “The main asset of SBAS technology is that a continental navigation service can be provided without the need for local infrastructure. It is particularly suited to the African continent, where there are vast remote areas which are often difficult to access (forests, desert) and a lack of navigation infrastructure. SBAS will help strengthening navigation operations for all phases from en-route down to approaches. It will improve the availability of RNAV routes and provide flexibility for more efficient and direct trajectories, which contributes to CO2 savings. It is also an efficient way of providing services equivalent to the ILS CAT I “everywhere and anytime”. Aerodromes everywhere that previously lacked precision approaches will now be able to offer precision approaches regardless of local infrastructure.”
The SBAS for Africa & Indian Ocean is today recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation under the Annex 10 to the Chicago Convention. A pre-operational service has been provided since September 2020. The first operational services, based on the current SBAS technology known as L1 single-frequency, will be available from 2024, with an incremental deployment beginning with ASECNA member States and progressively extending to cover the continent.
ASECNA Director General, Mohamed Moussa adds: “Since the beginning of my mandate, I have called for the expedition of the development of these services to meet the growing needs of airspace users, but also for reasons of positioning ASECNA in the value chain and of strategic independence. I have also called, as part of my policy for the unification of the African skies, for the initiative to be positioned on a continental scale, for the benefit of all the member States of the African Union (AU), as a key enabler to the Single African Air Transport Market to the AU Space Policy.”
SECNA is an International public organisation. Its main mission is to provide air navigation services within an airspace of 16,500,000 square kilometres, divided into six flight information regions (F.I.R) as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ASECNA also develops solutions for airport management, aviation infrastructure studies and construction, equipment maintenance, calibration of air navigation instruments and training for civil aviation staff. Its 18 Member States are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad and Togo.
About JPO EGNOS-Africa
The JPO is a panafrican programme established through the cooperation between African Union (AU) and Europe. Its mission is to coordinate and support the implementation of seamless and sustainable satellite navigation (GNSS) solutions in all sectors with aviation as a main driver. JPO multi-disciplinary team works with international, regional and national public and private organisations in order to respond to the continental challenges and fulfill the objectives of the African Union Flagship Programme on Space. JPO expertise spans various GNSS domains and we strive to provide smart solutions on GNSS services implementation, applications development, communication, market development, training and capacity building, research and development.