New Delhi: Several international airlines including Air India curtailed its operations to the USA starting Wednesday in view of the deployment of 5G communications by the country planned for January 19.
Emirates, Air India, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have all announced that they are canceling flights due to rollout of C-band 5G over concerns it could potentially interfere with some instruments. Air India announced on Twitter that it would cease flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
“#FlyAI: Due to deployment of 5G communications in the USA, our operations to the USA from India stand curtailed/revised with change in aircraft type from January 19, 2022. Update in this regard will be informed shortly,” said a tweet from Air India.
#FlyAI: Due to deployment of the 5G communications in USA,we will not be able to operate the following flights of 19th Jan’22:
Please standby for further updates.https://t.co/Cue4oHChwx
— Air India (@airindiain) January 18, 2022
United Airlines said the US government’s current 5G rollout plan will have a devastating impact on aviation, negatively affecting an estimated 1.25 million United passengers, at least 15,000 flights, and much-needed goods and tons of cargo traveling through more than 40 of the largest airports in the country annually.
When deployed next to runways, the 5G signals could interfere with the key safety equipment that pilots rely on to take off and land in inclement weather, the airlines said in a statement.
“We won’t compromise on safety – full stop. But, governments in other countries have successfully designed policies to ensure the safe deployment of 5G technology and we’re simply asking the US government to do the same. Otherwise, the radio altimeters on certain aircraft, which provide information to other safety systems like autopilot, heads-up displays, terrain warning, and pitch control, will be compromised and will result in significant restrictions on 787s, 777s, 737s, and regional aircraft in major cities like Houston, Newark, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.”
“Unfortunately, this will result in not only hundreds of thousands of flight cancellations and disruptions for customers across the industry in 2022, but also the suspension of cargo flights into these locations, causing a negative ripple effect on an already fragile supply chain. We implore the Biden administration to act quickly and apply the same common-sense solutions here that have clearly worked so well around the world,” it said.