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US-India to cooperate on flight navigation systems

US aviation watchdog Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday said it would cooperate with the Airport Authority of India (AAI) on developing the ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) used for flight navigation.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2011 13:45 IST

US aviation watchdog Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday said it would cooperate with the Airport Authority of India (AAI) on developing the ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) used for flight navigation.

"AAI has shown keen interest in strengthening and developing GBAS. We will cooperate with them," J. Randolph Babbitt, chief administrator of FAA, said at an industry event.

GBAS is a critical safety system that uses the global positioning system (GPS) for efficient and safe navigation and flight operations like landing, departure and surface operations within its area of coverage.

According to Babbitt, aviation safety was a key area in which FAA would increase its cooperation with the Indian authorities.

"We are also looking at runway safety and new technologies like satellite-based navigation system which will increase safety," he said.

Babbitt is a member of the delegation led by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is on a three-day visit here.

Babbitt praised India's very own GBAS -- the GPS-aided geo augmented navigation (GAGAN) system which helps in better navigation.

"India's aviation sector is poised to grow, with the overall traffic last year growing by 23% and domestic traffic alone growing at 12 percent. This trend will continue and safety is an important part of it," Babbitt said.

FAA further said that over the next five years, Indian aviation sector was set for an estimated 25% annual growth.

"Airport upgradation and new airport projects will present business opportunities in excess of $5 billion," FAA said in a statement.

The statement said aircraft sales to India were one of the largest contributors to US exports, with Air India and Jet ordering Boeing aircraft.