Russia accused of meddling in the GPS systems of Baltic Sea countries

Russia is being accused of jamming GPS signals across northern Europe, putting airlines on alert to possible flight disruptions. The rising frequency of these incidents is also shining a spotlight on recent trends in electronic warfare.

Finland's national carrier Finnair announced on Monday that none of its aircraft will be landing at Tartu airport, Estonia’s second-largest, over the next month due to a rise in incidents involving the airport's GPS signal in the Baltic Sea region.

Tartu airport is one of the few in the region that still uses GPS signals to help land aircraft; if the signal is lost, it is impossible for aircraft to land safely. Last week, two Finnair flights approaching Tartu had to turn back at the last minute and return to Helsinki because they were unsure if they could rely on the airport’s GPS.

Estonia quickly accused Russia of involvement. Moscow “knows very well that the interference they are causing is very dangerous for our air traffic”, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said on Monday.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency even held a summit in January to discuss the rise in GPS-related incidents.

This is not the first time this part of Europe has seen disputes over the airwaves.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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