5G technology: Airlines suspend some US flights due to rollout issue

Emirates, Air India, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines have all announced service cuts citing the problem.

Emirates has announced that it will suspend flights to nine US airports: Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas Fort Worth, George Bush Intercontinental in Houston, Miami, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco and Seattle. He said he would continue to fly to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, Los Angeles Airport and Washington Dulles.

“We are working closely with aircraft manufacturers and relevant authorities to mitigate operational issues, and we hope to resume our US services as soon as possible,” Emirates said in its statement.

Air India has announced that it will suspend service between Delhi airport and San Francisco, Chicago and JFK. It will also suspend a Mumbai-Newark flight.

It will continue to fly to Dulles International Airport in Washington DC.

Both ANA and Japan Airlines have announced that they have canceled some flights to the United States that were to use Boeing 777s, but will instead operate some flights using Boeing 787s.

And on Tuesday evening, Delta Airlines (DAL) said it anticipates the possibility of weather-related cancellations as early as Wednesday due to new 5G service near dozens of U.S. airports.
“Telecommunications companies agreed on Tuesday to limit the scope of Wednesday’s planned 5G rollout and will delay implementation around select U.S. airports. While this is a positive development to prevent widespread disruptions to operations flight, some flight restrictions may remain,” Delta said in a statement. noting that it must comply with restrictions already issued by the FAA near affected airports.

Transportation regulators were already concerned that the version of 5G due to be activated in January could interfere with some aircraft instruments, and many aviation industry groups shared those fears, despite assurances from federal telecom regulators and wireless operators.

Specifically, the Federal Aviation Administration has expressed concern that 5G cellular antennas near certain airports — and not air travellers’ mobile devices — could skew readings from certain aircraft equipment designed to tell pilots at what point. distance they are from the ground. These systems, known as radar altimeters, are used throughout a flight and are considered critical equipment. (Radar altimeters differ from standard altimeters, which rely on atmospheric pressure readings and do not use radio signals to measure altitude.)

The FAA had already decided in December to issue an urgent order prohibiting pilots from using the potentially affected altimeters around airports where low visibility conditions would otherwise require them. This new rule could prevent planes from reaching certain airports in certain circumstances, as pilots would not be able to land using instruments alone.
AT&T, owner of CNN’s parent company, and Verizon both announced on Tuesday that they would delay the activation of 5G on certain towers around certain airports. The deployment of wireless technology near major airports was scheduled for Wednesday.

“We are frustrated with the FAA’s failure to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it to do so in a timely manner. “, said Megan Ketterer, spokeswoman for AT&T. .

The Biden administration welcomed the delay, saying in a statement that “the agreement will avert potentially devastating disruptions to passenger travel, cargo operations and our economic recovery, while enabling more than 90% of the deployment of the wireless tower to occur as planned”.

In a Tuesday letter, the CEOs of 10 airlines asked the Biden administration to push back the already-delayed rollout. Airlines estimate there are 1,000 flight disruptions a day due to possible interference with radar altimeters that pilots use to land in low visibility conditions. The telecoms industry did not comment on the letter, but said the fears were unfounded as there were no issues in other countries where 5G is already being rolled out.

Comments are closed.