Finnish airline finds GPS interference near Russian border

March 10, 2022  - By
Photo: william87/ iStock editorial/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: william87/ iStock editorial/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Finnair planes flying close to the Russian border near and south of Finland are reporting unusual activity with their GPS receivers in the last few days.

No cause for the abnormalities has been determined, but the vicinity to the Russian border during the Ukraine war seems to indicate intentional interference. In particular, interference occurs near the Russian province of Kaliningrad situated between Lithuania and Poland, both NATO members.


An aircraft operated by Lithuanian carrier Transaviabaltika has been unable to fly from Tallinn to Savonlinna for three days.


Traficom, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, has received numerous occurrence reports regarding GPS signal interference observed by aircraft. The interference began during the weekend and is still continuing.

On Tuesday, several aircraft reported GPS signal interference in the region around Mikkeli, Jyväskylä and Kuopio. An aircraft operated by Lithuanian carrier Transaviabaltika has been unable to fly from Tallinn to Savonlinna for three days.

Kaliningrad is the capital of the Russian province of the same name, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Coast. (Map: Google)

Kaliningrad is the capital of the Russian province of the same name, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Coast. (Map: Google)

After receiving reports about GPS interference, Traficom on Monday requested Fintraffic Air Navigation Services Ltd (Fintraffic ANS) to issue a Notice to Airmen for pilots flying in the area.

“Flying is still safe. Airlines have procedures they follow if the GPS signal is lost,” said Director Jari Pöntinen. “Aircraft can use other systems to navigate and land safely. Air traffic control supports aircraft pilots with the help of other landing systems.” For final approach, traditional approach systems do not require a GPS signal.

Airlines make their own decisions on whether they can operate in an area where there is known to be interference to the GPS signal.

Traficom does not know what is causing the interference, but stated it will continue to monitor the situation and gather more information on the matter.

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