AAI successfully conducts flight trials using GAGAN | Gagan

AAI successfully conducts flight trials using GAGAN

Airports Authority of India (AAI) successfully conducted a light trial using GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation) based LPV Approach Procedures. India is the first country in Asia Pacific Region to achieve such a landmark.

Utility: UPSC, JPSC, BPSC Prelims & Mains
Section: Science & Technology: SpaceTech/ Navigation Systems

Key Points

  • The successful trial is a great achievement and major milestone in the field of Air Navigation Services (ANS) in the history of the Indian Civil Aviation Sector.
  • LPV (Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance) permits aircraft-guided approaches without the need for ground-based navigational infrastructure.
  • The service relies on the availability of GPS and GAGAN Geo Stationary Satellites.
  • LPV is a Satellite-Based Procedure that will make it possible to land at airports not equipped with expensive Instrument Landing Systems, such as many small regional and local airports

About LPV

  • Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) is a subset of the Area Navigation (RNAV) Approach.
  • Approaches to LPV minima have characteristics that are very similar to an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach.
  • The fundamental difference between the two is the source of the guidance signals.
  • Whilst an ILS is a ground-based approach, necessitating the associated transmitters and antennae for each individual runway.
  • The source for RNAV LPV guidance is the space-based Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
  • It can hence be used to simultaneously provide guidance to an unlimited number of aircraft conducting concurrent approaches at multiple locations.


  • GAGAN is an acronym for GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation.
  • It is a Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS) jointly developed by ISRO and AAI.
  • The aim is to provide the best possible navigational services over Indian FIR (Flight Information Region) with the capability of expanding to neighboring FIRs.
  • The system is interoperable with other international SBAS systems like US-WAAS, European EGNOS, and Japanese MSAS, etc.
  • GAGAN GEO\’s footprint extends from Africa to Australia and has expansion capability for seamless navigation services across the region.

Working of GAGAN?

  • GAGAN is a system of satellites and ground stations that provide GPS signal corrections, giving you better position accuracy.
  • GAGAN consists of a set of ground reference stations positioned across various locations in India called the Indian Reference Station (INRES), which gathers GPS satellite data.
  • A master station, the Indian Master Control Centre (INMCC) collects data from reference stations and creates GPS correction messages.
  • The corrected differential messages are uplinked via the Indian Uplink Station (INLUS).
  • Then broadcasted on a signal from three geostationary satellites (GSAT-8, GSAT-10, and GSAT-15).
  • The information on this signal is compatible with basic GPS signal structure, which means any SBAS-enabled GPS receiver can read this signal.
  • The GAGAN system provides a Non-precision approach (NPA) service accurate to within the radius of 1/10th of a nautical mile.
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