Russia denies it's responsible for GPS disruptions in Israeli airspace
Russian sources call the report on Israel's Army Radio - saying its military in Syria operated a satellite signal jammer - 'fake news'; pilots around Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport have been losing satellite signals due to mysterious disturbances for the past three weeks
Israeli Army Radio reported earlier on Thursday the latest GPS disruptions, which caused pilots around Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to lose satellite signals, was a result of a satellite signal jammer used by the Russian military at Hmeimim Air Base base in Syria.
“It’s fake news, we can’t take it seriously,” said a Russian source.
The Israel Airports Authority on Wednesday confirmed there had been GPS disruptions in Israeli airspace for approximately the past three weeks.
The announcement followed a report on Tuesday by the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) that “many” pilots had lost satellite signals from the Global Positioning System around Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.
The IAA statement said these affected only airborne crews and not terrestrial navigation systems.
Israeli authorities had worked from the outset to locate the source of the problem and fix it, it added.
Asked if an explanation for the disruption had been found, an IAA spokesman said: “No. I don’t know.”
“At no stage has there been a safety incident stemming from the GPS disruption in the context of the precision of navigation and flight corridors,” the IAA said.
The Israeli military said its operations were unaffected.
“The issue is of civilian concern and the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) provides technological support in order to facilitate freedom of movement within Israel’s airspace,” a military spokeswoman said.
In its post on Tuesday, the IFALPA said the loss of the GPS signal raised “potential risk” and advised flight crews operating over Israel to “avoid distractions and plan for alternative procedures as necessary”.