Air India cancels 14 US flights over 5G scare; DGCA working to overcome situation
New Delhi, Jan 19: Air India cancelled 14 flights on India-US routes from Wednesday onwards due to deployment of 5G internet in North America which could interfere with aircraft's navigation systems.
Meanwhile, DGCA chief Arun Kumar told PTI that the Indian aviation regulator was working "in close coordination with our carriers to overcome the situation" that has arisen due to 5G internet's deployment in the US.
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".
Altimeter measures height of the aircraft above the ground. The band on which altimeter works is close to that on which 5G system works. Total three carriers -- American Airlines, Delta Airlines and Air India -- currently operate direct flights between India and the US.
American Airlines and Delta Airlines did not respond to PTI's queries regarding this matter. Air India cancelled eight flights and six flights that were scheduled to operate on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
It stated on Twitter that it won't be operating eight India-US flights on Wednesday "due to deployment of the 5G communications in the US". These eight Air India flights were: Delhi-New York, New York-Delhi, Delhi-Chicago, Chicago-Delhi, Delhi- San Francisco, San Francisco-Delhi, Delhi-Newark and Newark-Delhi.
Later during the day, Air India officials said that a total of six India-US flights scheduled to operate on Thursday have been cancelled too. The six flights -- scheduled to operate on Thursday but cancelled -- are: Delhi-Chicago, Chicago-Delhi, Delhi- San Francisco, San Francisco-Delhi, Delhi-Newark and Newark-Delhi. PTI