Washington: India would have a GPS-based aviation navigation system by next year, civil aviation minister Praful Patel has said.
Patel at a function organised by the US India Business Council on 25 March told reporters that the GPS based navigation system would be in place by next year because by then India would launch its own satellite.
“In the meantime we would be doing trial run on borrowed satellite. This is for the entire Indian network. Our entire air mapping would be done by GPS,” he said.
Patel also said that he has raised with top US officials the issue of American restrictions over dual use technology to India in the aviation sector. “Dual use technology restrictions were taken up by us also in our meeting with the US commerce secretary. Because of this there is a lot of restrictive growth in the aviation and aerospace industry.”
“They (America) must be a little bit forthcoming in the aviation dual use technology,” Patel said, adding that the issue was raised very strongly with the US officials during his meetings with them.
Patel said following the India-US Open Skies Agreement five years ago, the relationship between the two countries in the aviation sector has reached new heights.
“It has set the foundation for a very comprehensive partnership and it is not just purchase of few aircraft and equipment ... even in infrastructure like communication, navigation systems and air traffic systems.
“There is lot of partnership that is going on between the two countries and I think the level of engagement between the two countries is unprecedented,” he said.
“We have an aviation cooperation programme which we signed in 2007. We are discussing continuation of those programmes. It involves working with each other on the technical side, on the safety side and there are various initiatives which have already started,” he said.
Patel said India is moving into GPS satellite based navigation system from the present ground based navigation system. “That will shorten our air routes, especially in the time of global warming and environmental issues are paramount so that less emissions, more efficient aircraft all these are issues which we are able to discuss because of the aviation cooperation programme,” he noted.
Responding to a question, Patel said airport modernisation in Delhi is absolutely on track. “It would be inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 3 July,” he said. He also said that Boeing is going to be paying compensation to Air India for the delay in the delivery of aircraft.