Israeli officials believe Russia is responsible for disturbances to the Global Positioning System (GPS) signal covering the airspace at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport, Israeli radio reported Thursday.
The GPS signal used by pilots in Israeli airspace has been experiencing interference for the past three weeks, according to a statement from the Israeli Airports Authority.
The interruptions have a major impact on certain aspects of piloting a plane, and on air traffic management, the statement said.
The Airports Authority said planes approaching Ben Gurion airport, which lies about 15 kilometers east of Tel Aviv, are now making use of an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach to land, which uses radio signals to guide navigation instead of satellite data. ILS approaches are used daily by airports worldwide.
Air traffic controllers at Ben Gurion can still provide full guidance to all outbound and inbound flights, the statement said, adding that at no stage was there a safety event relating to the GPS interruptions.
The report on Israel Army Radio Thursday morning — that Israel believes Russia is behind the GPS disturbances — was approved by the army censor after it lifted a restriction on reporting the news.
A Russian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told CNN: “This is fake news. We cannot relate to it seriously and we do not want to contribute to the distribution of this fake news.”