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Finnair suspends flights to Tartu due to GPS jamming

Finnair suspended daily flights to Tartu, Estonia, from April 29 to May 31, 2024, due to ongoing GPS interference affecting the usability of approach methods at Tartu Airport (TAY). 

The current approach methods at Tartu Airport rely on GPS signals, which are frequently disrupted in the area. Recent incidents forced two Finnair flights to divert back to Helsinki after GPS interference prevented a safe approach and landing at Tartu. 

“The systems on Finnair’s aircraft detect GPS interference, our pilots are well aware of the issue, and the aircraft have other navigation systems that can be used when the GPS system is unserviceable,” Jari Paajanen, Finnair’s Director of Operations, explained. “Most airports use alternative approach methods, but some airports, such as Tartu, only use methods that require a GPS signal to support them. The GPS interference in Tartu forces us to suspend flights until alternative solutions have been established.”  

During the one-month suspension period, Finnair will work to implement alternative approach solutions at Tartu Airport that do not depend on GPS signals to ensure the safe and smooth operation of flights. Passengers with bookings between Helsinki and Tartu will receive cancellation notifications from Finnair and be provided with further information regarding their options. 

Several European civil aviation authorities, including EASA, the French DGAC and the Finnish Traficom, have reported increased GPS signal disruptions affecting flights following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  EASA has identified four areas where GNSS jamming and/or spoofing has increased since February 24, 2022:  

Kaliningrad region, surrounding Baltic Sea and neighboring States;   

Eastern Finland;   

The Black Sea;   

The Eastern Mediterranean area near Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Israel, as well as Northern Iraq.    

On March 13, 2024, a Royal Air Force Falcon 900LX aircraft carrying British Minister of Defense Grant Shapps on an official trip to Poland encountered GPS jamming near the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.    

The post Finnair suspends flights to Tartu due to GPS jamming appeared first on AeroTime.

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