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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Isles MP Says UK Should Re-Join EGNOS Next 

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Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil is calling for the UK to re-join the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) now that the UK has re-joined the EU’s Horizon science research programme.

In moves to backtrack the damaging effects of Brexit, the UK Government announced this week that an agreement had been reached to re-join the common scientific research programme, Horizon which had been lost due to Brexit.

EGNOS is a safety of life navigation service, which was used mainly by smaller aircraft and therefore a critical system to allow planes to land in the islands especially in tricky weather conditions.

Mr MacNeil said:

“EGNOS 3D navigation for aircraft was lost to UK aviation with the advent of Brexit but now that the UK has seen sense in science, it is time for the UK to see sense with air navigation.

“Re-joining Horizon was the obvious logical step, a reversal of a policy that should never have happened.

“Similarly with EGNOS, this affects a number of Scottish airports particularly in the Highlands and Islands areas as well as the training of pilots more widely across the UK.

“There have been calls from the Isles of Scilly, to myself in the Hebrides, that the UK Government should re-join EGNOS.

“The move to re-join Horizon proves that this can be done and the sooner the UK Government does this the better.

“I know from my own experience, there are many days when flights don’t make some Scottish islands because the mist ceiling needs to be higher for pilots to have visual sight of the ground before they can make an approach.

“This clearly 200ft of a difference often means the difference between flights and cancellations.

“It makes for an inefficient economy, and lower productivity when flights can be cancelled and time wasted. 

“For economic sense, it is time for EGNOS to return.”

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