Truck driver has GPS jammer, accidentally jams Newark airport

An engineering firm worker in New Jersey has a GPS jammer so his bosses don't know where he is all the time. However, his route takes him close to Newark airport, and his jammer affects its satellite systems.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
The company truck that was tracked. CBS New York Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

No reasonable employee wants their boss to know where they are all the time.

Just as no reasonable boss wants his employees to know where she is all the time.

In the former case, those who have to drive around know that one way to get around the problem is to purloin an (entirely illegal) GPS jammer.

I understand from my underworld contacts that such a jammer can be obtained for less than $100.

Gary Bojczak may have thought this a sound investment. For, as CBS New York reports, he admitted to investigators that he put one in the truck he drove on behalf of an engineering company called Tilcon.

Even then, you might think this was just an ill-judged infraction.

However, Bojczak tended to drive by Newark airport in New Jersey. The enterprising souls there were trying out a new system called Smartpath. This, according to its maker Honeywell, lets airports "increase airport capacity, decrease air traffic noise, and reduce weather-related delays."

Sadly, though, it can be jammed by passing trucks that happen to enjoy a GPS jammer.

As the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported, the FCC explained: "The signals emanating from the vehicle were blocking the reception of GPS signals used by the air traffic control system."

So Bojczak was fined $31,875 on Friday. And, yes, he was also fired for his misdirection.

Though the Smartpath system was only being tested at the time Bojczak was intercepted, it has now been installed at Newark.

So please try not to jam it.