Europe’s Egnos Operator Navigates an 8-year Renewal

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TOULOUSE, France — ESSP SAS, a joint venture of seven European air-navigation authorities, will continue its role as provider of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) under an eight-year contract signed June 26 with the European Commission, ESSP announced.

Under the contract, valued at 450 million euros ($594 million), Toulouse, France-based ESSP will provide EGNOS service through December 2021. The company, composed of the air-navigation authorities of Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Britain and Switzerland, has been operating under a similar contract since 2009. The current contract expires in December.

EGNOS uses positioning, navigation and timing payloads hosted on commercial European telecommunications satellites and linked to an elaborate ground network of signal-monitoring stations in Europe. The service validates signals from the U.S. GPS navigation constellation and is similar to overlay systems operating in the United States and Japan and planned in Russia and China.

The European Commission, which owns the EGNOS system and the future Galileo medium-orbit constellation of positioning satellites, now in development, conducted a competitive procurement for the EGNOS contract before settling on the incumbent provider.