Air Force exercises may disrupt Alaska navigation systems
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Pilots and others using navigation systems throughout Interior Alaska may experience disruption due to Air Force training, officials said.
Eielson Air Force Base is conducting GPS signal-jamming exercises through May 24 that may disrupt navigation systems, The Anchorage Daily News reported Thursday.
The tests will happen on weekdays between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., the Air Force said in a statement.
Civilian pilots are most likely to be affected by GPS signal loss during the exercise periods, said Air Force Lt. Kayshel Trudell.
Pilots reliant on GPS-based navigation systems are training to contend with situations where an adversary might jam their signal. The training is part of a joint-force exercise called Northern Edge 2019 to prepare U.S. troops for crises in the western Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
“The goal of this training is not to inconvenience people, but to ensure our military forces are ready to operate were they to face a loss of GPS in a real world situation,” Trudell said.
The tests will be centered southwest of Eielson base near Delta Junction, 95 miles (153 kilometers) southeast of Fairbanks.
Aircraft impact will vary depending on altitude and distance from the test facility.
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is about 209 nautical miles (387 kilometers) from the jamming center, putting it within the affected radius. The base has a contingency plan to cut power to the jamming equipment if safety issues arise, Trudell said.
Motorists using in-vehicle navigation or smartphone navigation apps may lose signals intermittently.
Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com