Who's who

European Commission

EGNOS is a joint project of the European Commission (EC), the European Space Agency (ESA) and Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation.
The European Commission took over ownership of EGNOS’ infrastructure from the European Space Agency on behalf of the European Community on 1 April 2009. EGNOS and Galileo, the future global navigation satellite system, are now part of Europe’s GNSS programmes managed by the European Commission.

The European Commission embodies and upholds the general interest of the European Union and is the driving force in the Union's institutional system. Its four main roles are to propose legislation to Parliament and the Council, to administer and implement Community policies, to enforce Community law (jointly with the Court of Justice) and to negotiate international agreements, mainly those relating to trade and cooperation.

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The European GNSS Agency (GSA)

The GSA was established in 2004 as an agency of the EU to help lay the foundations for EGNOS and Galileo as fully sustainable and economically viable satellite navigation systems. The GSA supports the European Commission in promoting the market exploitation of EGNOS and Galileo, keeping Europe at the forefront of the satellite navigation sector.
The agency is also responsible for accomplishing other tasks entrusted to it by the Commission, in particular the promotion of applications.
The Galileo Joint Undertaking (GJU), which was the GSA’s predecessor, was set up in May 2002 by the European Community and the European Space Agency to manage the development phase of the Galileo Programme. The GSA officially took over all tasks previously assigned to the GJU on 1 January 2007.

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European Space Agency (ESA)

ESA is mandated to develop Europe’s space capability and to ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
Under Article II, Purpose, Convention of establishment of a European Space Agency, SP-1271(E), 2003, the ESA provides for and promotes cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems.

ESA is in charge of the system development and technical qualifications of EGNOS.

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As the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, Eurocontrol is responsible for developing a uniform pan-European air traffic management (ATM) system through the Single European Sky agreement. By reaping the benefits of a fully integrated air traffic management system Eurocontrol contributes to making European aviation safer, more secure and more environmentally-friendly.

Eurocontrol works with civil and military aviation stakeholders, the European institutions, and international aviation bodies in developing such coordinating actions among 38 European states.
Eurocontrol’s responsibilities include:

  • Leading the design and implementation of a future air traffic management (ATM) network across the European continent, in cooperation with aviation stakeholders;
  • Continue to manage pan-European functions such as centralised air traffic flow and capacity management (ATFCM);
  • Use its expertise to support ATM regulatory activities; and
  • Provide regional air traffic control services, where requested by the organisation’s member states.

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European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP)

ESSP is the EGNOS operator through an agreement with the Commission. The ESSP’s mission is the provision of the EGNOS Open Service (OS) and Safety-of-Life (SoL) Service compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s standards and recommended practices for satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) throughout the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) region.
The company is based in Toulouse, France and was founded by seven air navigation service providers: Aena (Spain), DFS (Germany), DSNA (France), ENAV (Italy), NATS (UK), NAV Portugal and Skyguide (Switzerland).

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European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

EASA’s mission is to increase the safety of civil aviation throughout Europe by developing common safety and environmental standards.
It monitors the implementation of standards through inspections conducted in each Member State and provides the necessary technical expertise, training and research. The agency works with national authorities, which continue to carry out many operational tasks, such as the certification of individual aircraft or licensing of pilots.
The main tasks of the agency include:

  • Rulemaking: drafting aviation safety legislation and providing technical advice to the European Commission and to the Member States;
  • Inspections, training and standardisation programmes to ensure uniform implementation of European aviation safety legislation in all Member States;
  • Safety and environmental type-certification of aircraft, engines and parts;
  • Approval of aircraft design organisations worldwide and of production and maintenance organisations outside the EU;
  • Authorisation of third-country (non EU) operators;
  • Coordination of the European Community programme SAFA (Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft) regarding the safety of foreign aircraft using Community airports;
  • Data collection, analysis and research to improve aviation safety.

In a few years, the Agency will also be responsible for safety regulations regarding airports and air traffic management systems.

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