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After GPS disruptions, Finnair to resume Estonian flights in June

Robert Besser
18 May 2024

HELSINKI, Finland: This week, Finland's national carrier, Finnair, said that after two of its planes were prevented from landing in Estonia's second-largest city, Tartu, last month because of GPS disruptions, it will resume flights to the city in June.

The cause of the GPS interference that forced the two flights to return to Helsinki on April 25 and April 26 was not immediately known, but Estonian officials blamed them on Russia.

Finnair said that Tartu Airport now directs plane landings using radio signals sent from ground stations instead of GPS signals.

Jari Paajanen, head of Finnair's operations control, thanked the Estonian Air Navigation Services for finding an alternative method "so swiftly."

Earlier this month, the Finnish carrier, the only airline operating international flights to Tartu, said it was suspending flights to Tartu until May 31 because of the interference.

It also has flights from Helsinki to Tartu twice daily, six days a week.

GPS interference has significantly increased since 2022, the airline said, earlier stating that interference has been reported, "especially near Kaliningrad, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean."

Russia carried out the jamming that could eventually lead to a crash, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said, adding that "this can be considered as a hybrid attack."

Finnair said that its aircraft systems detect GPS interference, and its pilots are "well aware of GPS interference and know how to prepare for it."

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