The Epoch Times reported that the flight delays and cancellations came ahead of plans by AT&T and Verizon to introduce next-gen 5G wireless technology despite questions about how it may affect flight operations.
On Tuesday, for example, Air India noted that four flights scheduled for the following day leaving from India and arriving at U.S. airports -- John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, O’Hare International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport -- were canceled.
#FlyAI: Due to deployment of the 5G communications in USA, we will not be able to operate the following flights of 19th Jan'22:
Please standby for further updates.https://t.co/Cue4oHChwx
— Air India (@airindiain) January 18, 2022
“Due to deployment of the 5G communications in USA, we will not be able to operate the following flights of 19th Jan’22,” the airline said, listing the four flights.
The outlet added:
In a statement, Dubai-based Emirates airline said it was also suspending flights to nine U.S. destinations from Jan. 19 due to “operational concerns associated with the planned deployment of 5G mobile network services in the U.S. at certain airports.”
The airline said the affected destinations were Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Miami, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco, and Seattle and the flights will be suspended until further notice.
Emirates flights to New York JFK, Los Angeles (LAX), and Washington DC (IAD) will continue to operate as scheduled.
“We are working closely with aircraft manufacturers and the relevant authorities to alleviate operational concerns, and we hope to resume our U.S. services as soon as possible,” said Emirates.
Meanwhile, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines announced that the carrier was planning for potential “weather-related cancellations caused by the deployment of new 5G service in the vicinity of dozens of U.S. airports, starting as early as Wednesday.”
“The FAA, which regulates airlines, has issued numerous notices that restrict flight activity near airports where this new deployment of 5G service in the C-band spectrum could cause limited interference with altitude instruments on aircraft under various weather conditions that aircraft safely operate in today," the carrier said.
"As such, Delta is taking the necessary steps to ensure safety remains the priority in compliance with FAA guidelines,” the company's statement continued.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. issued a statement saying that the FAA “has indicated that radio waves from the 5G wireless service may interfere with aircraft altimeters.”
“Boeing has announced flight restrictions on all airlines operating the Boeing 777 aircraft, and we have canceled or changed the aircraft for some flights to/from the U.S. based on the announcement by Boeing,” ANA said.
One of the biggest concerns lies with Boeing's 777, The Epoch Times noted, reporting that Japan Airlines said the aircraft maker informed company officials that “5G signals for U.S. mobile phones, which will begin operating in the U.S. on January 19, may interfere with the radio wave altimeter installed on the" aircraft.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and if there is any impact on our flight operations, we will promptly announce it on our website,” the airline said.
Needless to say, the botched rollout has its critics, including Emirates president Tim Clark, who told CNN's Richard Quest that his company had no idea until Tuesday that 5G upgrades could be disruptive “to the extent that it was going to compromise the safety of operation of our aircraft and just about every other 777 operator to and from the United States and within the United States.”
“We were aware of a 5G issue. Okay. We are aware that everybody is trying to get 5G rolled out, after all, it’s the super-cool future of whatever it may be communication and information flow. We were not aware that the power of the antennas in the United States have been doubled compared to what’s going on elsewhere," he said.
"We were not aware that the antenna themselves have been put into a vertical position rather than a slight slanting position, which then, taken together, compromise not only the radio altimeter systems but the flight control systems on the fly by wire aircraft. So on that basis, we took that decision late last night to suspend all our services until we had clarity,” he continued.
“I need to be as candid as I normally am, and say this is one of the most delinquent, utterly irresponsible issue subjects, call it what you like, I’ve seen in my aviation career because it involves organs of government, manufacturers, science, etc,” Clark said.
"And you know, the notion that, for instance, the United States government should sell its franchise for all the frequencies for a large amount of money. Somebody should have told them at the time — that the risks and the dangers they placed in certain frequency uses around field, airfields, metropolitan fields that should have been done at the time," he added.
Another day in Biden's America.