Navigational Peril: Indian Aircraft Lose Signal Over Middle East Sparks DGCA Response

DGCA Takes Swift Action as GNSS Challenges Pose 'Flying Blind' Threat to Civilian Flights

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has raised the alarm over a concerning trend. Indian planes experiencing signal loss while traveling the Middle East. It has prompted the regulatory body to take swift action. And issued a circular to address the emergent threats and uncertainties faced by civilian aircraft in the region.

The core of the matter, as identified by DGCA, lies in the challenges posed by the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). This interference has resulted in what’s described as planes ‘flying blind. The issue signals a critical issue that demands immediate attention.

To combat these uncertainties, the DGCA has acknowledged the need for proactive measures. A circular has been issued, calling for the development of contingency plans to combat the issue. DGCA calls for the establishment of a comprehensive threat monitoring and analysis network dedicated to aviation. This strategic move aims to confront and mitigate the challenges faced by civilian planes navigating Middle Eastern airspace.

The DGCA recognized the gravity of the situation. It has outlined specific guidelines for pilots, aircraft operators, and air traffic controllers. These guidelines emphasize the importance of safety risk assessments and collaboration with equipment manufacturers. The objective is clear – to prevent mishaps and loss of signal integrity for Indian flights. The concern raises eyebrows due to the challenging conditions encountered in the Middle East.

The urgency of this advisory stems from multiple incidents where Indian civilian aircraft had to alter their routes. And steering clear of Iranian airspace due to navigation system glitches. One notable instance involved a flight inadvertently approaching Iranian airspace without proper authorization, a consequence of GNSS-induced spoofing.

What is GPS Spoofing and Jamming?

Understanding the intricacies of the issue is crucial. GPS spoofing occurs when a transmitter generates a counterfeit GPS signal, deceiving the receiver antenna. This counterfeit signal can lead to navigation failure for the affected airplane. On the other hand, jamming involves the deliberate blockage of GPS signals, causing the aircraft to operate without proper navigation guidance. While jamming is more common, spoofing poses a more severe threat, capable of precipitating serious mishaps.

Instances of jamming and spoofing typically occur when aircraft traverse regions with ongoing military projects or experience regional disturbances marked by electronic warfare activities.

In light of the escalating concerns surrounding signal disruptions over the Middle East, the DGCA’s swift response is a crucial step toward ensuring the safety and integrity of Indian flights. The circular’s emphasis on collaboration, risk assessment, and proactive measures underscores the gravity of the situation. As the aviation industry grapples with these emerging threats, the need for a collective and vigilant approach becomes paramount to safeguard the skies traversed by Indian civilian aircraft.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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