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Galileo and GPS join forces to increase flight safety

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The European Commission will combine Europe’s satellite navigation system, ‘Galileo,’ with its United States counterpart, ‘GPS.’ A bilateral agreement with a worldwide impact, this synergy will help make air travel safer, and help establish much-needed international standards for air navigation systems.

The Galileo programme, Europe’s initiative to develop a global satellite navigation system, will combine with the United States’ global positioning system (GPS) to enhance air safety. Together, the GPS and Galileo constellations will eventually have more than 50 satellites available to strengthen safety during both flights and landing operations.

By pooling their satellite constellations, Galileo and GPS will create a state-of-the-art system that guides aircrafts by warning pilots of potential hazards within seconds.

Called ARAIM (Advanced Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring), the system will lay the foundation for international standards in the field of air navigation for decades to come. ARAIM will offer a significant improvement to aviation not only in Europe and the US, but around the globe. ARAIM represents the first step towards civil satellite-based navigation and timing systems that will be used worldwide by pilots of the next generation.

A key evolution of ARAIM will be that, because more satellites are available, it relies less on ground-based infrastructure. Indeed, the ground segment will only be used for light monitoring to ensure that performance requirements are met.

The agreement between the U.S. and the EU, signed in 2004, aims to provide satellite navigation users and equipment providers with a broader range of services and capabilities leading to increased user applications for civil purposes.


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