EU Parliament gives the green light to Galileo
The EU Parliament gave the green light on Wednesday to the new concept for the Galileo project that the EU Council agreed on in early April. The long-delayed European satellite navigation system will be up and running no later than 2013. The Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) that will improve the precision of positions determined by GPS and which the EU wants to finance itself, will also be included in the project. EGNOS should be functional by 2009.
The EU will finance Galileo and EGNOS to the tune of €3.405 billion total expenditure by the end of 2013. According to the parliament resolution, the project assets will be the property of the EU. The EU Commission is expected to make proposals for how to use the proceeds. Angelika Niebler, chairman of the Industry Committee spoke of a, "good day for Europe". She said that the satellite navigation system was one of Europe's most important projects. Niebler stated that success was achieved in establishing the parliament as, "a party to the European legislation involved in the development and performance of the project."
EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot announced that calls for tenders would be published by summer, so that by the end of 2008 the first contracts could be signed. The project is divided into six areas, each of which will be awarded separately. The second Galileo test satellite, Giove B, will be put into orbit on 27th April.