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Galileo development stalled over profitability questions

March 15, 2007: According to this news release, Jacques Barrot – the European Union Transport Commissioner has approached the companies building the Galileo system asking for the reasons for the year-long delay in the project.
The companies “are just not working,” his spokesman was quoted as saying by the business daily, while an unidentified French diplomat told the FT that “We will give the companies an ultimatum,” at a European space industry summit next week.
The original timetable projected the system to be fully in place by 2010, but Barrot’s spokesman said it would not be ready until 2011, adding that the timetable was constantly being pushed back.
Citing an unnamed executive, the FT reported that there were doubts whether Galileo could attract enough revenues, saying that people within the project doubted whether it would restart unless there were guarantees it could win business from its main competitor, the free US Global Positioning System (GPS).
“There is a doubt over the revenues,” the executive told the paper.Galileo is being promoted as being more accurate than GPS, giving mariners, pilots, drivers and others an almost pinpoint-accurate navigational tool. Unlike GPS, Galileo will stay under civilian control, increasing the European Union’s strategic independence.