State of aviation safety in Finland is good – international conflicts require changes to international flight routes
Overall, the year 2022 was safe in Finnish commercial air transport. No accidents took place. The number of serious incidents was approximately the same as in previous years. Most of the incidents were once again caused by aircraft proximity with drones. Disruptions in aircraft satellite navigation systems were observed more frequently than in 2021.
Traficom published on 26 January 2023 an overview of the safety situation in commercial air transport. (External link)
The war in Ukraine has required major changes in flight routes as the Russian airspace was closed. Disruptions in aircraft satellite navigation systems have been observed near conflict zones, in particular. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published a Safety Information Bulletin (External link)on the matter in March. Finland also issued a NOTAM for pilots about GPS disruptions at the beginning of March. The NOTAM was cancelled on 15 March 2022.
In 2022, Traficom received 65 reports about the loss or degradation of GPS signal during a flight. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 8 reports were received in 2021 and 27 reports in 2020. In 2017–2019, a total of 9 reports were received. A total of 1,327 reports of GPS outages were reported by Finnish aircraft flying outside of Finland. The number of disruptions affecting aviation is monitored and the matter is dealt with at international level by EASA, Eurocontrol and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Occurrence reporting in aviation is governed by strict EU-level requirements concerning the confidentiality of the reporter, for example. Occurrence reports are also documents under the Act on the Openness of Government Activities. No reports about GNSS disruptions related to satellite radionavigation were received from land or maritime transport operators in 2022.
Overall, the number of radio interference issues on ground level has decreased. In 2022, Traficom received a total of 86 radio interference reports, of which 32 required on-site investigations. In 2021, 115 reports were received. Of all cases of radio interference reported in 2022, 11 concerned satellite radionavigation (GNSS). The majority were GNSS issues reported by private individuals and concerned, for example, a sports watch, a car navigator or a chart plotter that displayed an inaccurate location.
In its own monitoring activities, Traficom regularly observes small jammers across the country. In 2022, Traficom’s jammer observations amounted to 422. These cases typically involve small jammers plugged into a car cigarette lighter socket to prevent the tracking of the vehicle, its tachograph or a mobile phone. These kinds of jammers can, however, disrupt GNSS reception in their operating area, which is why Traficom tries to eliminate all jammers it is able to locate.
Satellite navigation disruptions in Finland, aviation:
2022 - 65
2021 - 8
2020 - 27
2019 - 8
2018 - 0
2017 - 1
Satellite navigation disruptions in Finland, on land:
2022 - 11
2021 - 6
2020 - 7
2019 - 1
Number of illegal jammers observed
2022 - 422
2021 - 50
2020 - 145
Traficom media hotline, tel. +358 29 534 5648