International Airlines cancelled their flights scheduled to the US on Wednesday after telecom companies AT&T and Verizon launched 5g service in the country.
Airlines including Air India, Emirates, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Lufthansa and British Airways announced change or cancellation of flights to the United States over the concern that 5G cell phone services could interfere with aircraft technologies.
Air India announced the halt of flight services between Delhi and San Francisco, Chicago and JFK including Mumbai to Newark flight service. While Emirates Suspended flights into nine US airports.
As per the reports, In order to reduce the Possibility of Interference, the telecom companies agreed to maintain buffer zones around at least 50 airports, including major hubs like New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and the Los Angeles International Airport. The carriers had also agreed to temporarily limit deploying 5G service around certain airport runways.
The 5G technology is within a particular range of frequencies that forms the C-band segment of the radio spectrum. But there is an issue with it, as the part of the spectrum is near the segment of airwaves meant for commercial aviation and air traffic operations.
Though federal telecom regulators and wireless carriers assured that there would not be any problem, many aviation industry groups expressed their fear. The FAA was worried that the C- Band strand of 5G could interfere with radar altimeters.
Radio altimeters are critical equipment in aircraft that help pilots to figure out how far they are from the ground. This equipment plays a vital role when planes land in bad weather or when helicopters operate at low altitudes.
Similar high-speed wireless technology has been deployed in various countries and was far more seamless when compared with the U.S.
The telecom giants expressed their disappointment over the recent condition in the U.S, saying 5G technology has been Safely deployed in about 40 other countries without disrupting aircraft operations.
“We are frustrated by the FAA’s inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it do so in a timely manner,” Megan Ketterer, a spokesperson for AT&T, mentioned.
Sources stated that Boeing 777 aircraft was particularly affected by the new wireless service as it has radio wave altimeter installed. It is a long-range wide-body aircraft used by carriers across the world.
ANA and Japan Airlines canceled few flights to U.S scheduled to use Boeing 777aircraft and decided to operate some flights using Boeing 787s.
Therefore, Boeing 777 was not included in the list of aircrafts which was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly into airports with the 5G signals.
The airlines began to act in response to a notice from Boeing that 5G signals could Interfere with the radio altimeter on the 777, leading to restrictions.