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Finnair resumes flights to Tartu


Starting June 2, 2024, Finnair will reinstate flights to Tartu, Estonia, after a month-long suspension to introduce a non-GPS based approach at Tartu Airport.

Finnair will resume flights to Tartu, Estonia, from 2 June 2024. Finnair suspended flights to Tartu for a month so that an approach solution that doesn’t require a GPS signal could be introduced at Tartu airport.

The approach methods previously used at Tartu airport were based on GPS signals. As a result, GPS interference in the area has sometimes prevented aircraft from approaching and landing at the airport. This led Finnair to suspend flights between Helsinki and Tartu from 29 April to 31 May.

During May, the approach methods used at Tartu Airport have been updated so that some of the approaches can be used without a GPS signal. These renewed approach methods are based on radio signals sent from ground stations. These types of ground-based methods have been in use in aviation for a long time, and GPS interference does not affect their usability. Similar traditional approach methods are still in use at some airports as an alternative to GPS-based approach methods.

“Estonian Air Navigation Services (EANS) has done an excellent job in implementing the alternative method. I want to thank all our partners in Estonia for solving this matter so swiftly,” says Jari Paajanen, Vice President, Operations Control at Finnair.

Finnair flies to Tartu twice a day, six days per week, and flights are operated by Finnair’s partner Norra with ATR aircraft.

GPS interference has increased clearly since 2022, but it has not impacted the safe operation of flights. Finnair’s aircraft systems detect GPS interference, and the aircraft has other navigation systems that can be used when GPS interference occurs. Finnair and Norra pilots are also well aware of GPS interference and know how to prepare for it.

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