BeiDou system passes verification standard of ICAO
Global Times

File photo of a model of the Beidou Satellite Navigation System. (Photo: Xinhua)

China's domestically developed BeiDou satellite navigation system, or BDS, has passed an assessment of critical standardization work at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported Tuesday, citing the Chinese civil aviation authority and China Satellite Navigation Office.

Chinese analysts hailed the move as significant in the promotion of the global navigation system.

All performance indicators of the system completed expert technical verification on the Sixth Navigation Systems Panel (NSP/6) of the ICAO held from November 2 to 13, which represents the completion of the core and most important work of officially incorporating the BDS-3 into the ICAO's standards.

The technical verification of BDS-3 is the first time that a BDS civil signal has been qualified by the international organization. The ICAO has the highest requirements for global navigation satellite systems, and the verification by the ICAO proves BDS-3 has the ability to provide navigation services for global civil aviation.

Wang Yanan, chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times that the verification is an important step in the development of the navigation system, as global airlines can now choose, as allowed by the ICAO, to incorporate the system as a source of navigation service.

"This is important basic work. The incorporation into ICAO standards will open up more application scenarios for the BDS," Wang said. "More foreign airlines are expected to use the BDS under a cooperation framework."

It is also the first time that China's civil aviation industry has successfully promoted a domestically created and built complex system to join the ICAO standard with its own team as the core, according to the CCTV report. It builds a solid foundation for China to promote the BDS' application in the aviation sector during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period.

According to the work plan of the ICAO navigation system expert group, the BDS-3 team provided demonstration materials, completed the verification of all technical indicators, and obtained the unanimous approval of the other three mainstream navigation systems (GPS in the US, GLONASS in Russia and Galileo in Europe) and passed the final verification process.

The ICAO navigation system expert group will report the meeting result to the Air Navigation Commission for further discussion. The BDS-3 will be officially written into ICAO standards and announced worldwide after the discussion is finished.

In June, China completed the BDS - China's largest space-based system - and commissioned the system to offer full global services in August.

As of the end of 2019, more than 6.5 million road vehicles, 40,000 postal and express delivery vehicles, 80,000 buses in 36 major cities, 3,200 inland navigation facilities, and 2,900 marine navigation facilities had adopted services from the BDS in the Chinese mainland, forming the world's largest dynamic monitoring system for road vehicles.

In the first quarter of 2020, more than 70 percent of smartphones in China used BeiDou services.