Qantas flight crews warn of radio interference and GPS jamming from Chinese warships


Iconic Australian airline Qantas has warned its pilots of communication interference from people claiming to be the GPS jamming from the Chinese warships, Sky News Australia reported.

In the note issued by Qantas, the aircraft company said that the pilots were warned of the interferences, which were detected in the western Pacific and South China Sea.

"Qantas Group aircraft have experienced interference on VHF from stations purporting to represent the Chinese Military in the western Pacific and South China Sea," the note read on Thursday.

"Group aircraft have experienced GPS jamming suspected to originate from warships operating off the North West Shelf of Australia," the note added.

According to Sky News Australia, despite the warning, pilots were told that there had been "no safety events reported that relate to this activity." VHF stands for 'very high frequency' and covers a range of radio waves from 30 to 300 megahertz (MHz).

Pilots were provided with guidance on what to do in these circumstances. "Should flight crew experience this interference they should continue to track via their assigned clearance and report the interference to the controlling ATC authority," the advice read.

"An Intelex Report must be submitted providing details of the event or any other unusual activity after landing."

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations released a statement earlier this month confirming it had been made aware some airlines and military aircraft were being called over by warships, as per reported in Sky News Australia.

"IFALPA has Been made aware of some airlines and military aircraft being called over 121.50 or 123.45 by military warships in the Pacific region, notably South China Sea, Philippine Sea, East of Indian Ocean," the statement read.

"In some cases, the flights were provided vectors to avoid the airspace over the warship. We have reason to believe there may be interferences to GNSS and RADALT as well.

"IFALPA is engaging with IATA and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) to ensure that all parties are aligned with our procedures and to prevent this from occurring in the future."

The incident comes as China continues to hit back at the historic AUKUS submarines deal.

Notably, AUKUS is the trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Australia will acquire a fleet of eight nuclear-powered submarines under the trilateral partnership, which is expected to cost between USD 268 billion and USD 368 billion, reported Sky News Australia.

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