Title: A Practical Way Forward for Aviation Multi-Constellation Service Provision based on the ICAO GNSS Charter
Author(s): Gerhard E. Berz, Federico Bergamasco
Published in: Proceedings of the 30th International Technical Meeting of The Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2017)
September 25 - 29, 2017
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 1373 - 1382
Cite this article: Berz, Gerhard E., Bergamasco, Federico, "A Practical Way Forward for Aviation Multi-Constellation Service Provision based on the ICAO GNSS Charter," Proceedings of the 30th International Technical Meeting of The Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2017), Portland, Oregon, September 2017, pp. 1373-1382.
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Abstract: Aviation wishes to take advantage of signals from multiple GNSS core constellations in order to provide a robust, high-performing and continuous service to aircraft. This goal requires that each State accepts signals from at least one or more foreign constellation providers in its Air Navigation Service (ANS) provision. While GPS has already been introduced in aviation for many years, it has evolved from a supplemental means service to an essential ingredient for Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and a host of other Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) applications. Non-core constellation provider States have in some cases struggled with the legal implications of allowing the use of navigation signals from a foreign entity in their airspaces. This has led to the establishment of a “Charter on Rights and Obligations of States Relating to GNSS Services” by ICAO in 1998, still in force as Assembly Resolution 32-19 [1]. The charter contains only very high level principles relating mainly to safety and cooperation – but practical implementation details are missing. With the development of multi-constellation GNSS, some concerns resurface and remain unaddressed while others evolve in the sense that multi-constellation GNSS may actually provide solutions. Very little legal work has been done on the subject since the publication of the Charter and almost no case law is available on GNSS legal issues or any related domain – which is actually a credit to the high quality service provided by GPS that aviation has benefitted from for many years. The paper, which is intended for a non-legal expert audience, will summarize the current legal mechanisms and address challenges such as sovereignty, liability and the legal consequences of approving GNSS elements in a State’s airspace in the context of multi-constellation GNSS. Furthermore, it will propose practical mitigations to those challenges, essentially based on the established practice with current GPS L1-based operations and a more detailed interpretation of the GNSS Charter principles. A particular topic of technical interest will be the evaluation of the need for and benefits of introducing a State-specific receiver selection capability of individual GNSS elements based on a geographic database. Such a capability is one element of the GNSS concept of operations (CONOPS) currently being developed by ICAO [2]. The goal of the paper is to support the implementation of multi-constellation GNSS for aviation by addressing legal concerns and providing guidance on the need and functionality of any associated technical functionalities.