The Galileo programme is funded and owned by the EU.

The European Commission has overall responsibility for the programme, managing and overseeing the implementation of all activities on behalf of the EU. Galileo’s deployment, its design, and the development of the new generation of systems and the technical development of infrastructure is entrusted to the European Space Agency (ESA).

The Commission has delegated the operational management of the programme to the GSA, which oversees how Galileo infrastructure is used and ensures that Galileo services are delivered as planned and without interruption.

The GSA’s mission is to support European Union objectives and achieve the highest return on European GNSS investment, in terms of benefits to users and economic growth and competitiveness, by:

  • Designing and enabling services that fully respond to user needs, while continuously improving the European GNSS services and Infrastructure;
  • Managing the provision of quality services that ensure user satisfaction in the most cost-efficient manner;
  • Engaging market stakeholders to develop innovative and effective applications, value-added services and user technology that promote the achievement of full European GNSS adoption;
  • Ensuring that European GNSS services and operations are thoroughly secure, safe and accessible.

The European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) is set to be an integral part of the European GNSS infrastructure and provides the single interface between the Galileo system and the users of the Galileo Open Service (OS), and the Galileo Commercial Service (CS). The GSC is conceived as a centre of expertise, knowledge sharing, custom performance assessment, information dissemination and support to the provision of value-added services enabled by the Galileo OS and CS core services. The European GNSS Agency (GSA) is responsible for the GSC and is supported by Spain, which provides the Galileo Programme the necessary hosting GSC infrastructure and facilities.

The GSC is located in a fully secured environment in Madrid, Spain, within the National Institute of Aerospace Technologies (INTA) facilities at Torrejón de Ardoz, overseen by the Spanish Ministry of Defence. The agreement for the location of the Centre in Spain was signed in May 2011 by the European Commission (EC) and the Government of Spain, and it was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (in February 2012).

The development of Galileo, a large-scale multi-faceted effort, is being driven by the partnership of the European Commission and ESA. The initial definition, development and validation phases of the Galileo programme were carried out by ESA on a co-funded basis with the Commission. The current ‘Full Operational Capability’ phase is being managed and funded by the Commission, with ESA having the role of design and procurement agent.

The complete Galileo constellation will consist of 24 satellites plus in-orbit spares along three orbital planes in medium Earth orbit (including two spares per orbit). The result will be Europe’s largest ever fleet of satellites, operating in the new environment of medium-Earth orbit.

From November 2010 until end of June 2017, Spaceopal has been the Prime Contractor responsible for Galileo operations under the Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) Operations Framework contract, regulated by two control centres through a worldwide network of ground stations.

Since July 1, 2017, after a 2-year long international competitive tender, ran by the European GNSS Agency (GSA), Spaceopal GmbH will continue to operate the Galileo satellite fleet under the Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) contract and will thus ensure the provision of the Galileo services to the worldwide community.

Since the end of 2016, Galileo Initial Service is available and Spaceopal is actively supporting the completion of the system to expend the services up to full operational capability by 2020.

The International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG), established in 2005 under the umbrella of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs – UNOOSA, promotes voluntary cooperation on matters of mutual interest related to civil satellite-based positioning, navigation, timing, and value-added services. The ICG contributes to the sustainable development of the world. Among the core missions of the ICG are to encourage coordination among providers of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), regional systems, and augmentations in order to ensure greater compatibility, interoperability, and transparency, and to promote the introduction and utilization of these services and their future enhancements, including in developing countries, through assistance, if necessary, with the integration into their infrastructures. The ICG also serves to assist GNSS users with their development plans and applications, by encouraging coordination and serving as a focal point for information exchange.