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Finnair temporarily suspends flights to Tartu due to GPS interference

Finnair

Finnair will halt its flights to Tartu from April 29 to May 31 to implement a non-GPS dependent approach at Tartu Airport, following recent disruptions caused by GPS interference.

Finnair will suspend its daily flights to Tartu, Estonia, from April 29 to May 31, so that an alternative approach solution that doesn’t require a GPS signal can be put in place at Tartu Airport.

The approach methods currently used at Tartu Airport are based on a GPS signal. GPS interference, which is quite common in the area, affects the usability of this approach method and can therefore prevent the aircraft from approaching and landing. Last week, two Finnair flights had to divert back to Helsinki after GPS interference prevented the approach to Tartu.

Finnair suspends its flights to Tartu for one month, during which time the aim is to build approach methods at Tartu Airport that enable a safe and smooth operation of flights without a GPS signal.

Customers who have booked flights between Helsinki and Tartu on 29.4.-31.5. will receive a cancellation message from Finnair and will be given more information of their options by text message and/or email.

Finnair is the only airline operating international flights to Tartu.

“We apologize for the inconvenience the suspension causes to our customers. Flight safety is always our top priority, and as the approach to Tartu currently requires a GPS signal, we cannot fly there in the event of GPS interference,” says Jari Paajanen, Finnair’s Director of Operations.

“The systems on Finnair’s aircraft detect GPS interference, our pilots are well aware of the issue, and the aircraft have other navigation systems that can be used when the GPS system is unserviceable,” Paajanen says. “Most airports use alternative approach methods, but some airports, such as Tartu, only use methods that require a GPS signal to support them. The GPS interference in Tartu forces us to suspend flights until alternative solutions have been established.” 

GPS interference has increased since 2022, and Finnair pilots have reported interference especially near Kaliningrad, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. Typically, GPS interference does not affect flight routes or flight safety, as pilots are well aware of it and aircraft have alternative systems in place that are used when the GPS signal is interfered with.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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