War Affects European Flights
Russia’s war to take over Ukraine has reached the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Recently the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) warned of intermittent blackouts caused by the current war invasion. The EU’s air transport safety and environmental protection regulator reported that the outages affecting European flights have greatly intensified since the beginning of the Ukrainian invasion.
The ongoing war has caused GNSS disruption; it has led to spoofing and jamming caused by the impairment of the navigation and surveillance system that monitors airline flights. Reportedly, the problem is mostly centered around Ukraine. Other reports provided by Eurocontrol’s open-source data revealed that satnav spoofing along with jamming incidents have been extended to Ukraine’s Kaliningrad region. The outages also include Eastern Finland, the Eastern Mediterranean area, and the area along the Black Sea.
Since February 24 when the Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine several aircraft have reported its GNSS system had experienced jamming and spoofing activities. The incidents occurred in phases during various flights, and have led to the rerouting of several flights. With the GNSS jamming or spoofing some aircraft had to change their destination in order to maneuver safe landing.
Russian War Heightens Airline Accidents
With the current outages, the magnitude of the spoofing incidents depends on the concentrated area or region. EASA warned that is impossible to predict where GNSS jamming will occur, and its effect or damages on the aircraft navigation during flight sessions.
A warning issued by the European aviation regulator’s Safety Information Bulletin [PDF] highlights mitigation actions that air operators should take to avoid being affected by the air controller jamming attempts. The National Aviation Authorities and Air Navigation Service Providers were also warned to take evasive actions against spoofing and jamming attempts, which could cause airline accidents.
For now, the EASA warned European air operators to avoid the airspace borders of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine up to 200 nautical miles (230 miles or 370 km). Since the war began on February 24, Ukraine’s borders that stretch alongside Russia and Belarus have been hit with large-scale military activity involving a barrage of mid-range missiles.