What is ‘spoofing’ you might think? In aviation, it’s no laughing matter.
‘Spoofing’ is when false navigational data is sent to airplanes, sometimes rendering technologically valuable equipment useless.
That’s why the Federal Aviation Administration is telling pilots to re-learn the analog system of conventional navigation aids.
Examples of navigation data becoming corrupted are becoming more prevalent. The FAA is telling pilots to monitor their equipment and be ready to switch from digital to analog if need be. The infiltration of current navigational aids could cause a pilot to veer far off course, and could be used as a terrorist tool.
It is not sophisticated enough to delineate between military jets and commercial airliners.
“The Airbus Flight Data Monitoring has reported a substantial increase in (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) outages, with 49,605 incidents in 2022 compared to 10,843 in the previous year,” the European Business Aircraft Association reported in November last year.
The disruptions could put commercial and civilian flights at risk. It could be even more difficult for air traffic controllers.
The FAA is also telling pilots to be aware of changes in avoiding terrain. And it works both ways. Pilots could be tricked into thinking they are coming near an object in which they could crash, or they could believe that they are not close enough to do so.
Or they could wander into airspace that they shouldn’t.
The use of fuel consumption is also a concern.
vThe European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the International Air Transport Association are aware of the issue and recently conducted a workshop about the matter.
The French airline company Safran warned “Until a few years ago, a GNSS spoofing attack required expensive, high-end equipment in the $50,000- $500,000 range. Today, low-tech equipment and open source software can enable anyone to spoof for as little as $100.”
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