DGCA Issues Advisory On New Threats Like Signal Jamming & Spoofing; What Are They? How Do They Work ?

The civil aviation authority, DGCA, has issued an advisory to all Indian airlines, expressing concern about allegations that civilian planes are occasionally flying blind over regions of the Middle East.

by Vaishalee Kalvankar
DGCA Issues Advisory On New Threats Like Signal Jamming & Spoofing; What Are They? How Do They Work ?

The civil aviation authority, DGCA, has issued an advisory to all Indian airlines, expressing concern about allegations that civilian planes are occasionally flying blind over regions of the Middle East. Recent days have seen a number of allegations alleging that civilian aircraft’s navigation systems are being spoofed when they fly over certain areas of the Middle East. But what is it? How does it work?

DGCA Issues Advisory On New Threats

Due to recent threats and claims of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) jamming and spoofing, the aviation industry is facing uncertainty. This is quickly becoming a significant safety risk, and the goal of the DGCA’s advice is to inform airlines about the nature of the threat and appropriate countermeasures.

The paper notes that there have been “increasing reports of GNSS interference over airspace in the Middle East in the recent past” and urges the creation of backup plans in case navigation systems are jammed. 

The establishment of a network for threat monitoring and analysis has also been pursued by the DGCA. Several commercial planes near Iran veered off course in late September after their navigation systems failed. Because of spoofing, one of the planes nearly entered Iranian airspace without authorization.  

Professional pilots, flight dispatchers, schedulers, and controllers have reported the problem, according to OpsGroup.

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Here’s More About Spoofing & Jamming

Credits: Canva

The jets initially pick up a fake GPS signal when they are over sections of the Middle East. The purpose of this signal is to deceive the aircraft’s internal navigation system into believing that it is travelling far from its intended course. Frequently, the signal is powerful enough to jeopardize the aircraft’s system integrity.

As a result, the inertial reference system (IRS) becomes unstable in a matter of minutes, and frequently, the aircraft loses all capacity to navigate. 

Systems that emit contradictory or confused signals are referred to as deception. Although it is also customary to refer to all such systems as jamming. Jamming is the term used to describe concepts that cover the radar with signals. This is done so that its display cannot be read. (As per NDTV)

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Perpetrator Is Not Yet Found

Credits: Canva

Although a specific perpetrator has not been found, it is thought that the placement of military electronic warfare systems in high-tension regions may be the cause of jamming and spoofing. 

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) instructions, current advancements, and best practices are taken into consideration when formulating the committee’s suggestions for addressing the increasing threat, which form the basis of the DGCA circular.

It offers thorough mitigating strategies and action plans for pilots, air traffic controllers, ANSP, and aircraft operators. These include creating backup plans in collaboration with equipment manufacturers and evaluating operational risk. All this is done through the execution of a safety risk assessment.

It also offers a way to set up a threat monitoring and analysis network. It is in close collaboration with the DGCA. This is for both reactive and proactive threat monitoring and analysis of reports of GNSS interference.

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What are your views?

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva

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