Pilots of Indian carriers landing into airports very close to the Line of Control – Jammu and Thoise Air Force base – are facing nightmares because of the escalating cross-border troubles caused by Pakistan.
According to a Times of India report, as the aircraft are in their final phase of landing, hackers from across the border often tap into the frequency on which pilots are in touch with Jammu air traffic control (ATC).
As a result, the communication is blocked and Pakistani patriotic songs are being transmitted on the frequency, which play out in the cockpits.
“We are made to hear songs like 'Dil, dil Pakistan, jaan jaan Pakistan.' Hacking of our frequency has been happening for some time now. In such a situation, we revert to the Northern Control in Udhampur. This IAF-run ATC coordinates with aircraft when they are over 10,000 feet high and on descending below that level, we switch over to the Jammu tower,” a senior pilot was quoted by Times of India as saying.
After the frequency is hacked from across the border, the Northern Control calls up the Jammu ATC on landline to get an alternate frequency from them, and then informs pilots to speak to Jammu ATC on that frequency.
Unable to quickly get in touch with the ATC on the alternate frequency, pilots take time to land into Jammu or Thoise.
“We use VHF, which is line of sight communication and is known as 'if you can see us, you can talk to us.' Due to this, hackers frequently jam our frequency with ATC and start playing their music. This is a big irritant as we are in final stage of landing,” said another pilot.
To avoid hacking of frequency, the Jammu ATC changes its frequency very frequently.