Mysterious GPS signal disruptions reported in Eastern Finland

Andrzej Otrębski / Wikipedia

Major GPS signal disruptions were reported in Eastern Finland, starting on March 5-6, 2022, and continuing for several days. 

The disruptions have been reported by several aircraft, prompting Fintraffic Air Navigation to issue a NOTAM bulletin. 

According to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom), the first reports came in over the first weekend of March (either March 5 or 6, 2022). Several cases were reported during the following days.  

Finnish newspaper Helsinki Times reports that the exact number of accounts is unknown, and quotes Traficom director Jari Pöntinen as saying that “it may be well over 10”. 

“Flying is still safe. Airlines have operating procedures in place if the GPS signal is lost. The aircraft can be safely navigated and guided to land using other systems. Air traffic control supports guiding the aircraft to land using other systems,” Pöntinen is quoted as saying in the Traficom press release. 

However, the agency asked Fintraffic Air Navigation service to publish a NOTAM bulletin informing pilots of the disturbances.  

Finnish news website Yle reports that at least one airline has cancelled regional flights between Helsinki (HEL) and Savonlinna (SVL) after an aircraft was found to be unable to land at SVL on March 8. According to the report, only the airports in the easternmost part of the country seem to be affected. 

According to the Traficom press release, the agency does not know the source of the disturbances and is gathering more information about the issue. 

There have been previous cases of major GPS signal disruptions in Finland and Eastern Norway. The last was reported in 2018 during major NATO exercises in the region. At the time, Finnish officials openly accused Russia of jamming the signals.  

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