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Stepping up efforts to develop a European satellite navigation system (GNSS)

Cooperation for the development of a European satellite navigation and positioning system has been strengthened following the signature of an Agreement between the three European organizations with direct involvement. Among the benefits which the new system will bring are impr...
Cooperation for the development of a European satellite navigation and positioning system has been strengthened following the signature of an Agreement between the three European organizations with direct involvement. Among the benefits which the new system will bring are improved safety for air transport, improving the mobility of people and goods and strengthening the Single Market in Europe.

The European system will be established as a direct contribution to global efforts to create a second generation Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), following the Agreement signed in Luxembourg on 18 June 1998. The Directors-General of the European Space Agency (ESA), Antonio Rodota, and EUROCONTROL (the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation), Yves Lambert, EU Transport Commissioner, Neil Kinnock, and the President-in-Office of the Council of the EU, the UK's Minister for Transport, Gavin Strang, each signed the Cooperation Agreement which should add new impetus to Europe's efforts for the development of GNSS.

European GNSS development will be carried out in two main stages. The first stage will involve the development of a first-generation system, based on signals received from the existing American GPS and Russian GLONASS constellations and civil augmentation systems using space-based, ground-based, and mobile autonomous-based techniques. This system, to be completed by 2002, will be developed by the ESA.

The second stage, will involve the development, by 2010, of a second-generation system, which will provide services to civil users and be under civil operation and control. A decision on how to proceed with this second stage will be taken within Europe by mid-1999.
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