The Civil aviation regulator DGCA is examining a proposal to introduce Wi-Fi service onboard flights to adequately address all the related issues, Union Minister Jayant Sinha said today.
Civil Aviation Ministry, in August, had said that security issues were being sorted out for allowing use of Wi-Fi facility in the Indian airspace.
“The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is studying the matter to make sure that all considerations are adequately addressed and as soon as that is done, we will issue a statement,” the Minister of State for Civil Aviation said on the sidelines of India Economic Summit here.
Asked about the possible timeline, he said “I don’t have a timeline. The matter is under consideration”.
Once approved, the Wi-Fi facility would be available for domestic as well as foreign carriers flying in Indian skies. Currently, Wi-Fi services and phone calls are not allowed on flights flying over the Indian airspace.
Globally, many airlines are already offering Wi-Fi for passengers, but they currently have to switch off the facility when they enter the Indian airspace.
The Ministry has been pursuing the proposal of permitting use of Wi-Fi in flights on-board for quite some time and various security issues were holding up a final decision on the matter.
On August 24, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey had said the ministries of Civil Aviation, Telecommunications and Home Affairs have been working on allowing Wi-Fi use in flights.
Generally, Wi-Fi facility for fliers can be provided either through air-to-ground technology or satellite connectivity and the latter will be expensive.
Availability of Wi-Fi is also expected to provide local airlines with an additional source of revenues amid stiff competition in the Indian aviation market, which has been witnessing one of the highest passenger traffic growth rates in the world.