Air India Allowed To Fly Only This Aircraft To US: Relief For Thousands Of Stranded Passengers
Air India on Thursday said that it has received a go-ahead from Boeing to operate its Boeing 777 aircraft to the US giving huge relief to more than a thousand Air India US-bound passengers who are stranded for the last two days.
Go Ahead To Boeing 777 Aircraft
For carrying these stranded passengers, three Air India flights have been scheduled to operate on Thursday to the destinations including New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
Over 700 of them have been given hotel accommodation after Air India canceled its US flights which were earlier scheduled in the early hours of Wednesday.
During the early hours of Thursday, they had to cancel three scheduled departures.
Air India and airlines around the world had canceled, curtailed their US operations In the past 48 hours.
Why Would This Happen?
This has happened over the safety concerns related to the 5G rollout in the US on January 19 (US time).
On Thursday, an Air India official said that the first of the lot Air India Delhi-New York flight, that is left at 7.45 am after Boeing gave a green signal to Air India to operate its Boeing 777 aircraft to the US.
Besides this, the airline had lined up other departures to Chicago and San Francisco too.
Scheduled Flights For US
The San Francisco flight AI-173 will depart at 3 pm, while the Chicago flight, AI-127 is scheduled to depart at 1.20 pm, according to the Air India official.
Further adding, “The flights would have departed in the morning itself, but passengers had to undergo Covid tests as their earlier tests expired,”.
The Air India official said, “The matter regarding Boeing 777 flying into the US has been sorted,”.
The problem is caused by the 5G services using frequencies in a radio spectrum called the C-band.
Basically, these frequencies are close to those used by a radio altimeter installed onboard aircraft.
In fact, a radio altimeter is the only sensor onboard an aircraft that gives accurate information of an aircraft’s height over the ground.
So, any interference with its readings could be hazardous.
So far, the US regulator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ) had cleared a number of aircraft to operate into airports with 5G C-band transmission stations in the vicinity.
But, Boeing wide-bodies such as Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 were till recently not given a go-ahead.
Recently, the FAA, the US aviation regulator, issued a list of radio altimeter models (installed on Boeing aircraft) that were found to be “robust” enough against 5G C-band interference.
Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft are among these as they are the planes that Air India operates in the US.
FAA said, “This work has shown some altimeters are reliable and accurate in the 5G areas, others must be retrofitted or replaced,”.