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Russia jamming aircraft satnav, French official warns

pesian1801/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: pesian1801/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The Russian military has disrupted flight systems in three regions since the invasion of Ukraine, highlighting the need for robust alternatives, according to a French safety regulator and as reported by Bloomberg.

Airline pilots have reported jamming of satellite navigation systems around the Black Sea, eastern Finland and the Kaliningrad enclave, said Benoit Roturier, head of satellite navigation at France’s civil aviation authority DGAC.

The jamming signals appear to originate from Russian trucks intent on protecting troops and installations against GPS-guided missiles. While the signals are not aimed at civil aviation, however, they force the pilots to deal with distracting alerts.

“Airplanes hit by jamming can continue to fly using inertial navigation systems — that is standard and works with GPS,” Roturier said. “This could be less accurate, but can be used when GPS goes down.” Yet regulators are realizing the potential for massive airspace disruptions, especially as the European Union pushes for increasing reliance on satellite navigation.

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