The value for money for a temporary reinstatement of EGNOS
The UK’s participation in the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) Programme ended on 25 June 2021, leading to a withdrawal of legal indemnity for the use of EGNOS.
EGNOS improves the integrity and precision of GPS services. In particular, the EGNOS safety-of life (SoL) service is used in safety-critical applications as it enables users of GPS services to be confident that the information being supplied to them is precise and correct.
With the UK no longer able to use the EGNOS SoL service, a range of different sectors are affected, including agriculture, surveying and maritime, and especially aviation. Small and medium-sized airports face challenges that may lead to reduced safety and more unreliable services.
The All Party Parliamentary General Aviation Group asked Oxera to assess the business case for a temporary reinstatement of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). Based only on impacts on the aviation sector, assessed conservatively, our assessment concluded that EGNOS delivers high value for money, with a benefit–cost ratio of 2.6. This means that for every £1 spent by the UK government, £2.60 of benefit would be delivered to the UK public. In addition, EGNOS provides non-monetised benefits, including improved safety and reliability of emergency response helicopter services, increased competitiveness of UK flight training schools, and increased resilience of precision navigation systems for major UK airports. Expanding the analysis to other sectors of the economy only increases the benefits, while the costs to Government are unchanged.