The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a circular to airlines and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to cope with bogus GPS signals that overpower a flight's own navigation system and divert it from its planned path.
The AAI is India's aviation navigation service provider. According to sources, a considerable number of corporate and commercial planes were diverted off course a few weeks ago due to bogus GPS signals over Middle Eastern airspace.
"In light of recent reports of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) interference over Middle Eastern airspace, the DGCA formed an internal committee on October 4, [Year]." "Since then, the committee has assessed the situation, sensitized operators, and begun discussions with leading experts from around the world on this sensitive subject," the DGCA noted.
The circular specifies the roles and responsibilities of each party – airlines and the AAI – in monitoring and managing the threat in a coordinated way, as well as outlining regulatory reporting obligations.
The circular is based on the committee's recommendations for dealing with the rising threat, taking into account best practises, recent advancements, and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidance on the subject.
"Furthermore, the circular provides comprehensive mitigation measures and action plan for aircraft operators, pilots, the AAI, and air traffic controllers which includes the development of contingency procedures in coordination with equipment manufacturers, and assessing operational risk by conducting a safety risk assessment," according to the agency.
According to the DGCA, the circular establishes a structure for the AAI to construct a "threat monitoring and analysis network" in collaboration with the regulator. This network seeks to monitor and analyze reports of GNSS interference both proactively and reactively, gathering useful insights, data, and updates for a robust and timely threat response.
"This circular, which comes at a time when the aviation industry is grappling with uncertainties due to new threats and reports of GNSS jamming and spoofing, provides much-needed guidance and clarity to all concerned with a practical roadmap and action plan to deal with the threat of GNSS interference in airspace in an effective manner," the agency said.