The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom) reported disturbances in GPS navigation in eastern and southeastern Finland on December 31.
Inquiries were made to the agency by news service STT after anomalies were detected on the GPSjam website, a platform dedicated to tracking GPS interference. Jari Pöntinen, the aviation chief at Traficom, acknowledged the widespread nature of the disruptions, as noted by aviators across a significant area in Finland on New Year’s Eve.
Pöntinen emphasized that aircraft are equipped with alternative navigation systems to counter any potential risks arising from GPS signal irregularities, or jamming.
Finland is NATO’s newest member nation, joining the defense alliance on April 4, 2023. The Finnish-Russian border has seen multiple closures over the months preceding the GPS outage. While questions arose regarding the possible involvement of Russian GPS signal jamming in these disruptions, Pöntinen refrained from taking a definitive stance. However, he did note a historical correlation between GPS disruptions and conflict zones. “For example, there have been disturbances in the Baltic Sea near Kaliningrad, in the Black Sea Region, and in the Middle East, such as near Israel,” Pöntinen explained, pointing out consistent GPS disruptions in these areas.