British Airways cancels U.S. flights over 5G safety concerns
British Airways has joined a host of airlines cancelling U.S. flights due to 5G safety concerns.
The action is in response to fears that the activation of the C-band strand of the mobile phone service near U.S. airports on Wednesday could disrupt planes’ navigation systems.
Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it had “issued safety advice’’ to airlines.
On Wednesday, British Airways had cancelled a handful of flights from Heathrow to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
“Safety is always our priority. We are monitoring the situation in the U.S. closely and will continue to review our schedule in the next few hours,” the airline said in a statement.
It added, “We’re disappointed that some of our customers are facing potential disruption and will update them as soon as possible on any changes to their travel plans.’’
The carrier said some flights due to be operated by Boeing 777s were using different, larger aircraft such as the Airbus A380 to ensure people can still fly on the same day they booked.
The introduction of the technology has been halted in some parts of the U.S. but is going ahead elsewhere.
Earlier, Emirates suspended all its flights to nine U.S. airports on Wednesday until further notice.
The Dubai-based carrier told customers the measure was “due to operational concerns associated with the planned deployment of 5G mobile network services in the U.S. at certain airports.’’
Other airlines to cancel flights include Air India, Japan-based ANA, Japan Airlines, and Korean Air.
Virgin Atlantic, which does not operate Boeing 777s, said it had not made any cancellations or aircraft type changes.
The concern about 5G in the U.S. relates to its potential effect on aircraft altimeters, which measures altitude.
This does not have an impact on British airports because the U.S. uses a different frequency for 5G.
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