New Delhi: Air India has announced the cancellation of three flights to the United States as the controversy over 5G rollout near American airports continues, with American aviation bodies warning that the advanced communications network could disrupt sensitive flying instruments.
"FlyAI: Due to deployment of 5G communications in the USA, our operations to the USA from India stand curtailed/revised with change in aircraft type from January 19, 2022. Update in this regard will be informed shortly," said a tweet from Air India.
US mobile networks AT&T and Verizon have agreed to delay the rollout of 5G networks near airports after 10 biggest US airlines said in a letter to regulators that they wanted 5G signals to be excluded from "the approximate two miles of airport runways at affected airports as defined by the FAA on 19 January 2022".
The Federal Aviation Authority in America has expressed worries that the C-band signals from 5G networks could disrupt sensitive flight instruments including those related to landings. The White House has already thanked cellphone providers for agreeing to limit 5G around airports as a solution was being worked out, noting that it would only affect 10% of the network.
"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," said United Airlines in a statement.
"We are frustrated by the Federal Aviation Administration'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," AT&T said in a statement.
"We are launching our advanced 5G services everywhere else as planned with the temporary exception of this limited number of towers."
Airline executives have suggested waiting until appropriate changes were made to technology before rolling out 5G networks near airports.