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GPS Attacks at Cairo Airport – Just After Egypt Air Loss

May 30, 2016

The Mirror
Fresh Terror fears as hackers trying to disable planes at Cairo Airport
Nick Dorman

Terror fears have been raised over Egypt after pilots were warned hackers were attempting to disable planes electrical equipment at Cairo airport.It is thought pilots are being targeted by ‘GPS jamming’ – where someone tries to disrupt the workings of electics used by planes on their approach to land.It comes just days after the Egyptair tragedy, when a plane carrying 66 crashed en route from Paris to Cairo.Details of the alert were contained in a warning known as a Notice to Airmen published on the Flight Service Bureau website.No group has claimed responsibility for tampering with the gadgets.

The notice published on Tuesday said: “Egypt notified airlines that GPS jamming is a concern to arrivals and overflights, and warned against conducting RNP/RNAV arrivals or approaches.

“The jamming was announced on May 24, and is centred on Cairo Airport; the source is unknown.”

Read more: EgyptAir Flight 804 emergency locator transmitter distress signals are ‘picked up in the Mediterranean’

GPS jammers can be bought from the internet for as little as £80.

They can block signals used by GPS devices like mapping software on our mobiles and sat nave.

A jammer in London reportedly caused problems at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick airports in 2004.

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Blog editor’s note: GPS is used extensively for ground control and air traffic control systems, and in commercial aircraft for a variety of location based services that support the pilots, crew and passengers.  Most commercial aircraft are usually able to navigate using WWII-era VOR & DME signals from stations on the ground, though these routes are less efficient (take longer, cost more) than flying with GPS.