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New EU project –

to increase EGNOS adoption in rotorcraft and eVTOL operations.

A new European project, SAMVA, meant to increase the adoption of EGNOS technology within the provision of rotorcraft and eVTOL services has formally started in October 2022.

Based on the performance and integrity provided by EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service), the safe integration of rotorcraft operations in all-weather conditions and obstacle-rich environments is now feasible through GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) RNP (Required Navigation Performance) instrumental procedures.

However, although most recent helicopter units are already equipped to fly these types of procedures, today, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) air operations are mostly restricted in good weather and at daylight.

Furthermore, the EGNOS integrity concept is inherited from the civil aviation domain, with very high confidence levels on the computed navigation position, and has the potential to enhance eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft operations in Urban Air Mobility (UAM) environments.

In this framework SAMVA project (SBAS Adoption in Multicopter VTOL Aircraft) intends to foster the adoption of EGNOS technology within the provision of rotorcraft and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) services and U-space integration by means of:

• Achieve operational use of EGNOS within the provision of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services, by implementing first Point-in-Space and Low-Level-Route operation in Spain;

• Enable EGNOS satellite navigation capabilities in autonomous eVTOL, for precise and integer navigation guidance and support of U-Space Airspace integration;

• Demonstrate how current EGNOS Safety-of-Life Service can best support eVTOL urban operations by hybridizing data from on-board sensors;

• Promote the adoption of EGNOS services towards UAM services through the support of key stakeholders from different European cities and regions.

• Deploy first EGNOS services on eVTOL operation at Lleida-Alguaire airport (LEDA), and demonstrate how EGNOS can support UTM (Unmanned aircraft system Traffic Management) tasks for entry into operations;

• Develop, in-flight test and validate an EGNOS RNP flight procedure design criteria based on the specific navigation performance of an autonomous eVTOL passenger capable;

• Evaluate how current EGNOS service could evolve to provide high accuracy integrity values in combination with the Galileo High Accuracy Service; and

Image by Dose Media

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Meet the Team

The SAMVA project is partially funded by EUSPA (European Union Agency for the Space Programme), granted under the call for proposals “GSA/GRANT/01/2021 – Acceleration of EGNOS Adoption in Transport”. It officially started in October 2022. 


An engineering company specialized in delivering top of the edge technology and services within the aeronautics and aerospace sectors. PildoLabs will act as SAMVA project coordinator, while leading the procedure design tasks and flight validation activities.

Airport Regions Council

An association of regional and local authorities with an airport on their territories for interregional cooperation. ARC will lead the project communication, dissemination and exploitation activities.


Provider of emergency air transport and aeronautical maintenance services to civil aviation, airports and maintenance companies. Eliance will lead the rotorcraft RNP procedure development while acting as rotorcraft operator.

Ehang (Nasdaq: EH)

Is the world's leading AAV technology platform company and a forerunner of of cutting-edge AAV technologies and commercial solutions in the global UAM industry. EHang will integrate EGNOS based services in the operations of one EH216 AAV at LEDA airport, and will contribute to the development, test and validation of eVTOL RNP flight procedure, as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and operator.a global leader on the development and operation of autonomous vehicles for passenger transportation. Ehang will lead the upgrade of an EH216 eVTOL unit for executing SAMVA new flight procedures based on EGNOS.

Thales Alenia Space

Current operational EGNOS system prime and a world leader in satellite-based navigation systems. Thales Alenia Space will lead the development of an advanced integrity concept for VTOLs relying on EGNOS and other on-board equipment.

Aeroports de Catalunya

Catalonia regional airport authority. Aeroports de Catalunya will lead the eVTOL procedure implementation in Lleida-Alguaire airport.

The project is also supported by third-parties:


The project kick-off meeting took place on 7 November 2022 at Lleida-Alguaire airport. The importance of the SAMVA project was highlighted by the project coordinator, Josep Montolio, Aeronautical Engineer at PildoLabs, who stated that “this project will establish relevant milestones towards the nominal use of EGNOS-based operations for both rotorcraft and eVTOLs aircraft. These new procedures will offer all the EGNOS benefits to the different service operators and users, achieving a better positioning solution backed up by high precision, accuracy, and integrity”.


Through the operational developments proposed, and the engagement with key stakeholders, SAMVA will be a key milestone for the adoption of EGNOS technology in present and future rotorcraft and eVTOL operations


You can also access here press releases published by the project partners:.

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