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IndiGo becomes first airline in Asia to land aircraft using navigation system ‘GAGAN’

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: IndiGo, India’s leading carrier, became the first Airline in Asia to land aircraft using the indigenous navigation system GAGAN, according to a statement issued on Thursday.

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The flight was conducted using an ATR-72 aircraft and landed at the Kishangarh airport in Rajasthan on Wednesday morning, using GPS-aided geo-augmented navigation (GAGAN), which has been jointly developed by the Centre-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the statement issued by IndiGo said.

GAGAN is used to provide lateral and vertical guidance when an aircraft is approaching a runway for landing. Its precision is especially useful at small airports where the instrument landing system (ILS) has not been installed.

“This is a huge leap for Indian Civil Aviation and a firm step towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat, as India becomes the third country in the world to have their own SBAS system after the USA and Japan. GAGAN will be a game-changer for civil aviation, leading to modernisation of the airspace, reducing flight delays, bringing in fuel savings and improving flight safety,” Ronojoy Dutta, whole-time director and CEO, IndiGo, said in a statement.

The GAGAN is designed to provide the additional accuracy, availability, and integrity necessary to enable users to rely on GPS for all phases of flight, from en route through approach for all qualified airports within the GAGAN service volume. It will also provide the capability for increased accuracy in position reporting, allowing for more uniform and high-quality Air Traffic Management (ATM).

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“In India’s civil aviation sector, GAGAN will modernize the airspace, reduce flight delays, save fuel and improve flight safety,” the statement said. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a mandate for all aircraft registered in India after July 1, 2021, to be fitted with GAGAN equipment, it added.

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