DALLAS – Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued a Safety Information Bulletin (SIB) warning that the likelihood of intermittent Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) breakdowns has increased.
Since the war began on February 24, the agency has received complaints of an increase in GNSS “jamming and/or suspected spoofing in geographical areas surrounding the conflict zone and other places,” according to the agency.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has identified four areas of concern: Russia’s Kaliningrad territory and the adjacent Baltic Sea, eastern Finland, the Black Sea, and the eastern Mediterranean.
“The effects of GNSS jamming and/or possible spoofing were observed by aircraft in various phases of their flights, in certain cases leading to re-routing or even to change the destination due to the inability to perform a safe landing procedure,” EASA stated in the SIB. “Under the present conditions, it is not possible to predict GNSS outages and their effects.”
Navigation Systems Issues
GNSS signal degradation, according to EASA, could result in a variety of problems, including the inability to use GNSS for waypoint navigation, the loss of area navigation (RNAV) approach capabilities, inaccurate terrain warnings, inconsistent aircraft position on navigation displays, and potential airspace infringements and route deviations.
National aviation authorities should prepare contingency plans and send warnings detailing affected areas as appropriate, according to the agency. Assessing the dangers and constraints associated with the loss of onboard GNSS capability, evaluating operating limitations of aircraft flying in affected areas, and assuring the availability of alternate approach and arrival procedures are among the recommendations made to operators.
Operators and agencies were also asked to report and gather data on any GNSS outages, degradations, or unusual performance. The four global GNSS systems are – GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (EU), BeiDou (China). Additionally, there are two regional systems – QZSS (Japan) and IRNSS or NavIC (India).
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