February 24, 2016

CNES sets out Galileo challenges to French MEPs

Jean-Yves Le Gall, CNES President and interministerial coordinator for European satellite navigation programmes, was in Brussels today to detail the challenges facing Galileo to French Members of the European Parliament. Six additional Galileo satellites are set to be launched this year from the Guiana Space Centre, taking the number in orbit to 18 out of the 30 satellites that ultimately will form the full constellation.

Jean-Yves Le Gall began by renewing his thanks to MEPs for their sustained commitment and support for European satellite navigation programmes. He then reaffirmed the symbolic import of Galileo for Europe as the first major infrastructure of the European Union geared directly toward serving its citizens and assuring its strategic independence, as well as its eminently unifying effect in today’s fiercely competitive global environment.

Jean-Yves Le Gall then gave MEPs a status check on the programme’s deployment, the first element of which, EGNOS, designed to augment the precision and integrity of satellite navigation signals, is in service since 2010. Initial Galileo services are set to be rolled out this year, with enhanced services expected in 2018 and full services available by 2020, complementing EGNOS. But the programme’s success will depend on developing applications to give Galileo the credibility it needs with users around the world, while bringing social and economic benefits to Europe’s citizens. Jean-Yves Le Gall cited as examples rail transport, where Galileo will play a vital role in helping to remodel the signalling architecture of the secondary network, and other sectors that ultimately could benefit from its services such as agriculture and smart transport systems. He concluded by underlining that quickly deploying the constellation, firming up the programme’s budget and optimizing its governance are the three key conditions essential to Galileo’s success.

During his talk, Jean-Yves Le Gall stated: “I would like once again to thank France’s MEPs for hosting me here today and for their unwavering support for Galileo. As an ultra-modern navigation service, a tool supporting public policymaking, notably for transport, and the guarantor of our strategic independence, Galileo is a federating European project par excellence. With the programme entering its final straight this year, it was important to provide a status check for the European Parliament, which has shown its sustained support for Galileo.”

CNES contacts
Pascale Bresson    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Julien Watelet    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37    julien.watelet@cnes.fr