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Newark Airport Navigation System Jammed by Employee Hiding from his Boss

Aug 10, 2013 4:00 am

Skift Take

That a roughly $100 device could jam the airport’s sophisticated satellite navigation system is a sobering development, and highlights some real vulnerabilities.

— Dennis Schaal

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A New Jersey man faces tens of thousands of dollars in fines after regulators say he interfered with a satellite system at one of the nation’s busiest airports while masking his whereabouts from his employer.

The Federal Communications Commission said Gary Bojczak admitted he installed a jamming device in his company-owned pickup to thwart his employer’s GPS.

Bojczak surrendered the jamming device after his vehicle was stopped at Newark Liberty International Airport in August 2012.

The FCC said the jamming device interfered with a new system that enhanced navigation signals that used GPS data to aid aircraft approaching, departing and on the ground. The system was undergoing testing at the time and was put into full service the following month.

The FCC notice on the proposed penalties, issued in the beginning of August, described Bojczak’s conduct as “particularly troubling” because it interrupted the testing and calibration of a critical air navigation system.

Bojczak, whose hometown was not listed in the FCC decision, faces nearly $32,000 in fines after the FCC found he unlawfully operated an illegal GPS jammer and interfered with authorized communications.

He was given 30 days to either pay the full fine or challenge the decision.

An FCC spokesman could not immediately say Friday whether Bojczak he was appealing the decision.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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