The issue has not yet caused any accidents or safety incidents, but has a “significant impact on all aspects of operating a plane from the cockpit, as well as on managing air traffic,” the Airports Authority said in a statement Wednesday.
The interference with the airplanes’ GPS reception appears to stem from a form of electronic warfare known as “spoofing,” which Russia has been accused of doing in the past as a defensive measure, despite the disruptions it causes to nearby aircraft and ships.
The Israeli Airline Pilots Association said Russia’s spoofing was a fairly advanced method of feeding GPS receivers with incorrect location data by a transmitter, making it appear to the pilot as though the aircraft is in a different location, sometimes miles away. As the GPS receiver continues to show location information, it does not immediately appear as a malfunction.
“This type of blocking requires great technical knowledge and high mechanical capability, which is not possessed by individuals or organizations,” the association wrote on Twitter.