Rajiv Nayan Choubey, the Civil Aviation Secretary, announced on Wednesday that air passengers might soon be able to enjoy WiFi connection on board flights, and the government is working on a solution for the same.
“There is fairly a good chance that in ten days, permission will be given to operate WiFi in the Indian airspace,” said the minister while speaking at an awards function organised by the Air Passengers Association of India
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He added that the aviation ministry is working with the Department of Telecom, which has taken up the matter. The government is also working towards allowing security agencies to monitor call and data transmissions if required, to enable WiFi services. As of now, passengers are barred from using mobile phones and Internet services when they are in the Indian airspace. The minister also added that fliers may soon be able to make phone calls inside flights as well, once WiFi services are activated.
Amber Dubey, partner and India head of aerospace and defence at global consultancy firm KPMG told The Hindu that this facility will help both passengers and airlines. It will allow access to entertainment and a lot more to travellers, while helping airlines earn money. In other countries such as the US, many flights are installed with special gear so that they can catch signals from a network while they are zipping past at a high speed.
The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Ram Vilas Paswan, who was present at the same function mentioned that the government is also working on provisions to protect the interests of consumers, especially those affected by flight cancellations.