Most powerful solar storms since 2003 threaten to disrupt satellite communications.

Solar storms diverts flights, could disrupt GPS

A number of airlines including Air Canada, Qantas and Delta have diverted flights near the polar region following the largest solar storm recorded since 2003.

High flying aircraft near the pole face additional risk that communications will be disrupted due to the barrage of radiation from an unusually active sun. As a result some airlines have diverted their paths away further from the north and south poles.

The diversions carry a fuel penalty but so far the airlines are playing it safe.

Disruption to satellite services such as GPS has also been raised as a possibility by scientists while spectacular Auroras have already been visible much further away from the extreme polar regions than usual.

"With the radiation storm in progress now, satellite operators could be experiencing trouble, and there are probably impacts as well to high-frequency communications in polar regions," said US Space Weather Prediction Centre physicist Doug Biesecker.

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