An El Al plane in Ben Gurion Airport.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Senior Israeli officials say they believe that Russia has been disrupting civilian aircraft navigation systems for the past three weeks, according to reports released Thursday morning. Army Radio called the move a “hostile attack.”
The Airports Authority announced on Wednesday that pilots were having difficulty landing, experiencing mysterious disruptions. To resolve the issue, Israel has sent a defense official to Russia to discuss the disruption, Army Radio reported.
Russia has denied the report.
Despite the interference, the Airports Authority was able to ensure safe landings for its incoming planes.
“As a result of the disturbances, changes were made in some of the entry procedures for landing to ensure safety; these are procedures used daily in airports around the world,” the authority said in a statement. “At no stage was there a safety incident related to GPS interference in connection with the accuracy of navigation and flight routes. From the first day that the disturbance appeared, all of the elements in Israel have been working to solve the problem and find the source of the problem.”
The military explained that the incident was purely civilian and did not affect any of its activities. However, the army has been assisting with the disturbance “to allow freedom of action” in Israeli airspace.
“The IDF is constantly working to preserve the freedom of action and operational supremacy in the spectrum,” it said in a statement.
The report on the disturbance comes only days after Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev was in Jerusalem for a historic trilateral meeting with US and Israeli national security advisers John Bolton and Meir Ben-Shabbat.
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