New Delhi/Washington/UNI: Several international airlines, including Air India, have cancelled flights to the US from Wednesday over uncertainty on interference between new 5G mobile phone service and critical airplane technologies.
According to CNN, Emirates, Air India, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines have announced service cuts.
Air India said it would suspend its flights between Delhi Airport and San Francisco, Chicago and JFK and Mumbai to Newark.
"Due to deployment of the 5G communications in USA, we will not be able to operate the following flights of January 19: AI101/102 DEL/JFK/DEL, AI173/174 DEL/SFO/DEL, AI127/126 DEL/ORD/DEL and AI191/144 BOM/EWR/BOM," Air India said in a tweet.
Emirates has announced that it would suspend flights into nine US airports: Boston, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas Fort Worth, George Bush Intercontinental in Houston, Miami, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco and Seattle.
According to CNN, transportation regulators had already been concerned that the version of 5G that's was scheduled to be switched on in January could interfere with some airplane instruments, and many aviation industry groups shared those fears — despite reassurances from federal telecom regulators and wireless carriers.
As American telecom majors AT&T and Verizon deploy new 5G services, airlines in the US have warned of potential adverse effect of it on flight operations.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the 5G cellular antennas near airports might throw off readings from some aircraft equipment that tell pilots about how far they are from the ground.
United Airlines in a statement said that the federal 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 airline said.
The airline further said that governments in other countries have successfully designed policies to ensure the safe deployment of 5G technology and United is 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," United Airlines said.