Wednesday 31 January, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall was in Prague for the 51st meeting of the Administrative Board of GSA, the European GNSS Agency. On this occasion, the Board’s members reviewed the major successes accomplished in recent months.
At the end of 2016, the European Commission declared the start of initial Galileo services, casting the future of these programmes in an operational light and focusing on the system’s performance, continuity of services and market uptake. Galileo is fast becoming a part of our daily lives, as shown by the many applications it now supports. Latest-generation smartphones now offer Galileo services and autonomous vehicle developers are also using them. In all, there are today some 100 million Galileo users around the world.
Through EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service), Europe has also acquired crucial experience in satellite navigation and developed true technology expertise. EGNOS is delivering quality services and future upgrades are set to enable it from 2020 to progressively enhance the performance of both GPS and Galileo. It already has a strong user base, with EasyJet, Air France and Paris-CDG airport announcing they intend to make use of the system.
Galileo also ended last year on a high, with the first Galileo User Assembly in Madrid on 28 November and the launch of four new satellites from the Guiana Space Centre on 12 December.
On the sidelines of the Board meeting, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “Galileo is a perfect illustration of how a strong spacefaring Europe breeds success. More than ever, we are positioning ourselves as a key global player in space and promoting international cooperation in this sector. A maximum of space solutions needs to be deployed to serve our societies. In this respect, I’m delighted to see that the next European Space Solutions Conference will be held in Marseille in December 2018.”