On the occasion of the International Day of the Seafarer on 25 June, a total of 14 maritime organizations sent a formal letter to the US Coast Guard Commandant Karl Schultz, requesting the issue of ‘deliberate interference’ with America’s Global Positioning System (GPS) and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals to be resolved.
We request that you raise the urgent issue of deliberate interference with America’s Global Positioning System (GPS) and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals at the upcoming 122nd session of IMO Council from July 15th to 19th 2019,
…the letter reads.
This comes following a series of GPS interference incidents endangering maritime operations of US vessels.
A recent report by the non-profit C4ADS shows deliberate transmissions designed to block and deceive GPS and other GNSS signals affecting maritime operations in the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean from 2016 to 2018.
Recent vessel reports and AIS data show that these transmissions continue. Anecdotal reports have indicated that this kind of interference can be found across the globe, the letter underlined.
As one example, researchers at the German Aerospace Center detected interference on every leg of a cargo ship’s year-long operations between Europe and the far east. In addition to degrading safety of life at sea, these transmissions violate International Telecommunications Union Radio Regulation 19.2 that stipulates “All transmissions with false or misleading identification are prohibited.”
As such, the organizations requested USCG to propose an IMO Council resolution that includes:
- GNSS signals are important to safety of navigation
- Member states should enact measures to prevent unauthorized transmissions on GNSS frequencies
- Member states should refrain from interfering with GNSS signals as much as possible, except when required for security reasons.
- Member states interfering with GNSS signals for security reasons should issue notices to mariners specifying the time periods and areas impacted to help minimize negative effects on maritime operations.