Published On: Thu, Jun 27th, 2019

Planes landing in Israel see GPS signals disrupted

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It has baffled authorities who have failed to find the source and forced airports to change some landing procedures

Published 8:52 PM, June 27, 2019

Updated 8:52 PM, June 27, 2019

GPS. This file photo shows the Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel. File photo from Wikipedia

GPS. This file photo shows the Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel. File photo from Wikipedia

JERUSALEM – GPS signals in Israel’s airspace have been disrupted for 3 weeks, a government spokesman said Thursday, June 27, with local reports suggesting that Russia might be the cause of the problem.

It has baffled authorities who have failed to find the source and forced airports to change some landing procedures, a spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority said.

Air traffic controllers have been instructing planes to use instrument landing systems, “and at no point has there been a safety incident pertaining to the GPS disruption due to navigation accuracy and flight routes,” the IAA said in a statement.

The International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations noted on its website earlier this week it had received “many reports from pilots that they have experienced loss of GPS signal in the vicinity of the Ben Gurion International Airport,” Israel’s main civilian airport.

While Israeli officials could offer no concrete information as to the source of the problem, an army radio report said Russia was “responsible” for the GPS problems, though there was no indication it was being done intentionally.

Other media reports said the disruption may be related to Russian military activity in neighboring Syria.

A Russian embassy spokesman could not be reached for comment but Israeli media quoted the embassy labelling the reports “fake news.”

Speaking with army radio, former Israeli air force commander Amos Yadlin said Israel might be suffering “collateral damage” from a cyber battlefield in the area.

The Israeli army did not shed light on the issue, saying the issue was “of civilian concern” and its operations were currently not affected by the problem. – Rappler.com

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