Air India Cancels These US-Bound Flights Due To 5G Network: What’s The Truth?


Many airlines are changing aircrafts they use on flights to the US as well.

Air India is canceling and rescheduling some of its flights to the US.

Why?

It has cited concerns over the US’ deployment of 5G services which is expected to cause major disruption to flights.

The national carrier Tweeted that its operations to the US from India stands “curtailed/ revised with change in aircraft type” from January 19th.

It operates flights to New York, Newark, Chicago, Washington DC and San Francisco.

Global Airlines Following Suit

Many airlines are changing aircrafts they use on flights to the US as well.

Emirates, the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777, has suspended most of its US bound flights until further notice.

Japanese airlines All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines also announced that they would curtail Boeing 777 flights.

British Airways swapped planes on some flights to Los Angeles from the usual Boeing 777 to an Airbus A380.

5G Impact On Boeing Planes

The move comes after the US aviation regulator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), warned that 5G interference could cause problems with different systems aboard Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, especially at the time of landing.

In particular, 5G’s interference with a plane’s radio altimeter could prevent engine and braking systems from switching to landing mode.

This could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway.

Therefore, airlines are warning that the technology should not be rolled out in the runways.

5G On Runways

Several airlines under the banner ‘Airlines of America’ requested that 5G be implemented “everywhere in the country except within the approximate 2 miles (3.2 kms) of airport runways at affected airports as defined by the FAA”.

United Airlines said that the radio altimeters on certain aircraft, the 787s, 777s, 737s and regional aircraft in major cities like Houston, Newark, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, will be compromised and result in significant restrictions.

Safety Implications

This has negative implications for operational safety since 5G signals could interfere with the key safety equipment that pilots rely on to take off and land in inclement weather, when deployed next to runways.

Plane manufacturers Boeing and Airbus have also expressed their concerns that 5G could negatively impact the aircraft’s ability to operate safely.

Telcos Delay 5G Upgrade

Telecom companies AT&T and Verizon asserted that 5G is being safely used in several countries. 

But this was not enough to allay the fears expressed by airlines, because of which the companies decided to limit the rollout.

Both the companies announced that they will delay 5G antenna upgrades near certain airports.

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