Air India Cancels 8 US Flights Over 5G Rollout. DGCA Chief Says Working To ‘Overcome Situation’

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New Delhi: Air India canceled eight flights on India-US routes from Wednesday onwards due to deployment of 5G internet in North America.

“#FlyAI: Due to deployment of the 5G communications in USA,we will not be able to operate the following flights of 19th Jan’22: AI101/102 DEL/JFK/DEL AI173/174 DEL/SFO/DEL AI127/126 DEL /ORD/DEL AI191/144 BOM/EWR/BOM Please standby for further updates.,” Air India tweeted.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Arun Kumar said the Indian aviation regulator was working “in close coordination with our carriers to overcome the situation”, PTI reported.

Air India had earlier stated that it won’t operate eight India-US flights, including Delhi-New York, New York-Delhi, Delhi-Chicago, Chicago-Delhi, Delhi- San Francisco, San Francisco-Delhi, Delhi-Newark and Newark-Delhi, on Wednesday.

Earlier on January 14, US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had 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”.

The airlines are mainly worried about potentially catastrophic consequences of the launch of C-Band 5G services around key airports in the US.

The new C-Band 5G uses part of the radio spectrum that operates on the same frequencies as altimeters. Altimeter measures height of the aircraft above the ground. The band on which altimeter works is close to that on which 5G system works.

Besides Air India, American Airlines and Delta Airlines currently operate direct flights between India and the US.

The other airline companies, including Emirates, have also canceled flights to the US owing to concerns related to the 5G rollout.

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