Air India curtails India-US operations from today. What is the 5G issue?

The rolling out of the 5G technology in the runway could interfere with some sensitive instruments of the aircraft, the airlines apprehend while the US telecom companies are reiterating that they have already implemented the technology elsewhere with no damage.
Air India has cancelled four India-US flights scheduled on Wednesday. 
Air India has cancelled four India-US flights scheduled on Wednesday. 
Published on Jan 19, 2022 05:37 AM IST
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By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Air India on Tuesday announced that it has curtailed its operations to the US starting from January 19 in view of the deployment of the 5G communications by the US, which has already upset the schedules of many other airlines. According to reports, following the warning of the airlines, the US telecommunication giants have now decided to temporarily limit 5G services around some airports.

The Air India flights which have been cancelled on January 19 are AI101/102 DEL/JFK/DEL, AI173/174 DEL/SFO/DEL, AI127/126 DEL/ORD/DEL, AI191/144 BOM/EWR/BOM, the airline tweeted on Tuesday.

What is the 5G issue?

As US telecom giants have decided to rollout 5G technology providing fliers with faster internet access, the airline industry said it might have a catastrophic impact and the technology could interfere with sensitive airplane instruments. 5G should not be rolled out in the runways, the airlines said. 

US telecom companies AT&T and Verizon said their technology is safe and is being used in many other countries. But as the conflict could not be resolved, they said they would limit the rollout of the technology near certain airports.

US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had on January 14 said that “5G interference with the aircraft's radio altimeter could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway”.

Apart from Air India, Emirates, Japan's two major airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines said they would curtail Boeing 777 flights. British Airways opted to switch aircraft on some flights to Los Angeles to an Airbus A380 from the usual Boeing 777 service, Reuters reported. 

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