Unusual amount of reports about GPS interference near the eastern border of Finland
The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has received numerous occurrence reports regarding GPS signal interference observed by aircraft. The interference began during the weekend and is still continuing. On Tuesday, several aircraft reported GPS signal interference in the region around Mikkeli, Jyväskylä and Kuopio. An aircraft operated by the Lithuanian carrier Transaviabaltika has been unable to fly from Tallinn to Savonlinna for three days.
After receiving reports about GPS interference, Traficom on Monday requested Fintraffic Air Navigation Services Ltd (Fintraffic ANS) to issue a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). NOTAMs are used to inform pilots about matters they have to take into account to ensure flight safety.
“Flying is still safe. Airlines have procedures they follow if the GPS signal is lost. Aircraft can use other systems to navigate and land safely. Air traffic control supports aircraft pilots with the help of other landing systems,” says Director Jari Pöntinen.
For final approach, there are traditional approach systems that do not require a GPS signal.
Airlines make their own decisions on whether they can operate in an area where there is known to be interference in the GPS signal.
Traficom does not know what is causing the interference. GPS interference is difficult to detect from the ground. It is easier on board aircraft, and in the air interference may be detected far from the source. GPS interference can be momentary and local, which makes it difficult to verify afterwards.
Traficom will continue to monitor the situation and gather more information on the matter.
Traficom media hotline, tel. +358 29 534 5648