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Satellite navigation

Galileo: Applications for maritime transport

The maritime and inland waterways sectors are already a natural user of GNSS services: inter alia for track control, Container Ship ship-to-ship coordination, port approach and navigation, ship-to-shore coordination, shore-to-ship management, calamity abatement... With more than 50.000 ships around the world and 15.000 boats on EU inland waterways, EGNOS and Galileo, combined with GPS, can contribute to a safer and more efficient navigation owing to the better accuracy and availability provided.

The Search and Rescue (SAR) service of Galileo is also a key service for the safety of fishermen and sailors. Currently, in some situations of distress, several hours may be necessary to get the emergency beacon located by the emergency services. The future Galileo SAR service will be able to detect activated distress beacons and notify the appropriate rescue body almost in real time. Moreover, a return message will be sent to the emergency beacon, notifying the victims that their distress signal has been received and that help is on its way. In this context, the European Commission is a key actor to get Galileo SAR acknowledged by COSPAS SARSAT organisation.

The European Commission contributes to raising awareness of the advantages of EGNOS and Galileo among the maritime community. It also coordinates European efforts made at international level, under the auspices of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), to promote the use of Galileo as part of a World Wide Radio Navigation System, by updating the relevant resolutions thereof.

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