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European agency warns of GNSS outages near Ukraine

March 22, 2022  - By
Photo: franckreporter/E+/Getty Images

Photo: franckreporter/E+/Getty Images

In the current context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the issue of GNSS jamming and/or possible spoofing has intensified in geographical areas surrounding the conflict zone and other areas, according to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The agency issued a safety information bulletin on March 17 warning of a GNSS outage leading to navigation / surveillance degradation. According to the bulletin, which was directed at national aviation authorities and airlines, reports analyzed by EASA indicate that since February 24 GNSS spoofing and/or jamming has intensified in four key geographical areas:

  • the Kaliningrad region, surrounding Baltic Sea and neighboring states
  • Eastern Finland
  • the Black Sea and
  • the Eastern Mediterranean area near Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Israel, as well as Northern Iraq.

“The effects of GNSS jamming and/or possible spoofing,” the bulletin stated, “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.” It pointed out that in the present conditions it is not possible to predict these outages and their effects. Potential issues include:

  • loss of ability to use GNSS for waypoint navigation
  • loss of area navigation (RNAV) approach capability
  • inability to conduct or maintain various operations
  • triggering of terrain warnings, possibly with pull-up command and
  • inconsistent aircraft position on the navigation display
  • loss of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), wind shear, terrain and surface functionalities
  • failure or degradation of ATM/ANS/CNS and aircraft systems that use GNSS as a time reference and
  • airspace infringements and/or route deviations due to GNSS degradation.

The bulletin also offers several recommendations to airlines for mitigating these issues.

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About the Author:


Matteo Luccio possesses 20 years of experience as a writer and editor for GNSS and geospatial technology magazines. He began his career in the industry in 2000, serving as managing editor of GPS World and Galileo’s World, then as editor of Earth Observation Magazine and GIS Monitor. His technical articles have been published in more than 20 professional magazines, including Professional Surveyor Magazine, Apogeo Spatial and xyHt. Luccio holds a master’s degree in political science from MIT. He can be reached at mluccio@gpsworld.com or 541-543-0525.

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