Air India has curtailed its operations to the USA from India ahead of the 5G deployment in the US. The warnings from US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and CEOs of various US airlines about possible 5G interference with aircraft’s radio altimeter is the reason behind the decision.
Air India informed the change in flights via its official Twitter handle. “Due to deployment of 5G in the USA, our operations to the USA from India stand curtailed/revised with change in aircraft type from January 19, 2022.,” Air India said in a tweet. Shortly, the national carrier informed the passengers flying to Washington DC from Delhi about the flight change. It used AI103 to fly from Delhi to Washington. The airline also cancelled four flights on January 19, 2022.
“Due to deployment of the 5G communications in the USA, we will not be able to operate the following flights of January 19 ’22 -- AI101/102 DEL/JFK/DEL; AI173/174 DEL/SFO/DEL; AI127/126 DEL/ORD/DEL; and AI191/144 BOM/EWR/BOM. Please standby for further updates.,” Air India announced. There is no information available about the possible cancellations planned.
Air India operates flights to key US destinations, including New York, Chicago, Newark, San Francisco and Washington DC. Besides Air India, United Airlines and American Airlines are the other two carriers that operate flights between India and the US.
5G Can have Devastating Impact on US Aviation Industry
According to the FAA, 5G interference with the aircraft’s radio altimeter might prohibit the engine and braking systems from switching to landing mode, preventing the plane from stopping at the runway. A group of US airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and FedEx, warned on Monday that the deployment of 5G internet might result in a “catastrophic” aviation disaster.
According to the airlines, 5G should be implemented throughout the United States, except within two miles of airport runways. United Airlines claims that the US government’s current 5G rollout plan will have a devastating impact on the US aviation industry, affecting an estimated 1.25 million United passengers, at least 15,000 flights, and vital goods and cargo passing through more than 40 of the country’s busiest airports each year.
The rollout of 5G in the US is being postponed due to concerns over aviation safety.
There are unconfirmed reports that Boeing and Airbus have written a letter to the US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, claiming that 5G could compromise the safety aspects of the aircraft.