One small deception, one big consequence.
A New Jersey man trying to hide his whereabouts from his employer inadvertently interfered with operations at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Gary Bojczak, of Readington, N.J., had purchased a jamming device for his truck that thwarted the GPS tracking monitor his employer, Tilcon Engineering, had installed. Trouble was, the jamming device also interfered with a new satellite-based navigation system the Federal Aviation Administration was testing at the airport, according to the local CBS TV station.
Bojczak's work brought him near the airport often, leading to frequent disruptions. When the Federal Communications Commission and FAA investigated, their search led to his red Chevy Silverado pickup truck.
Last week, the FCC leveled a $31,875 fine against Bojczak, even though he immediately surrendered the jamming device upon learning of the unintended consequences of his actions. He was also fired from his job.
The FAA and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport, both said that no aircraft were placed in danger during the multiple instances of interference problems.
The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., reports the system, Smartpath, had endured previous problems in the past caused by vehicles traveling along the nearby New Jersey Turnpike. Mary Clark, a spokesperson for United Airlines, told the newspaper the system's use has been suspended at times because of numerous problems.