Galileo satellite navigation gets approval

Brian Turner

November 30, 2007

EU ministers have finally agreed to push ahead on the Galileo satellite navigation projects, after it came close to being scrapped.

The project intends to set up a GPS system to rival and complement the existing US-run GPS system, while providing more detailed information. It also allows Europe to receive accurate satellite tracking data without being dependent upon the US military.

While a majority of transport ministers approved the plan, it did so with the opposition of Spain, who insisted on a third ground station for the Galileo project in their country.

However, there are doubts that the project could sustain a third station, especially as there are already concerns about the £2.5 billion cost of the existing plans.

This is especially as the private sector has already backed-out of the project after disagreements on how to allocate resources across a consortium composed of companies from eight different countries.

Germany remains the biggest investor in the Galileo satellite navigation project, but Sweden and the Netherlands also retain reservations on the project, which has already cost over £500 million so far.


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