Front Page: Traficom
Front Page: Traficom

Electronic navigation tools are used widely in small boats. However, technical tools do not replace a boater’s good navigation skills in unexpected situations, such as when there is interference in satellite navigation. For your safety, keep nautical charts with you. Notify the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom of radio interference.

A lot of GPS interference in aviation is currently being detected in the Gulf of Finland area, but there have been hardly any reports of interference on the ground or in sea areas. 

In aviation, interference in satellite navigation systems is often observed especially in the vicinity of conflict zones. Interference is typically used to protect one's own infrastructure or important sites, so the interference effect can also spread more widely. For this reason, there may appear more interference on open sea areas than inland, especially in the Eastern part of the Gulf of Finland.

“The radio interference situation in the land and sea areas of Finland is mostly normal and you can start the boating season in smooth waters. However, it is always good to prepare for interference situations you might encounter while boating. Practising map-based navigating strengthens the safe and smooth operation in situations where GPS tracking is not available,” says the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom’s Director-General Jarkko Saarimäki.

Keep a nautical chart with you and learn to use it 

Chart plotters or other similar electronic applications are good tools for a boater. The master of the boat is responsible for having the necessary nautical charts with them when the journey requires route planning because of its length, conditions, or it is unfamiliar to the boater. You should have a nautical chart with you at least on longer journeys and in unfamiliar waters. 

“It is good practise to have a nautical chart always with you just in case, much like other safety devices, and you also need to know how to use it. According to the Water Traffic Act, a plotter is not a primary navigation tool, so you should not place all your trust in only it. Your own skills need to be adequate to navigate without a plotter. In Finland, extensive training of boaters produced by various parties is organised to ensure competence,” says Chief Adviser Kimmo Patrakka

The master of the boat must actively follow and know where they are. Even in familiar waters, conditions can surprise you and change in such a way that it requires a nautical chart. A situation like this can arise when, for example, there is interference that blocks the tracking of the chart plotter. 

Notify Traficom of radio interference

You should always notify the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom of radio interference because the agency investigates radio interferences and compiles interference situation data in Finland. You can fill the radio interference form easily e.g. on your phone straight from the boat or after you have come ashore.   

Radio interference form: Notifications of radio interference | Traficom (External link)


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