The Centre is positively considering a request made by airline companies to provide inflight Wi-Fi services, union civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said but refrained from giving any timeline as to when such a clearance would be given.
“The piece of legislation has to be amended. The Parliament has to do that to make this possible,” Raju told reporters at Dabolim airport on Saturday while responding to a question on Wi-Fi facility on airplanes.
“Aircrafts within India do not have Wi-Fi and there is a demand for it. So the thinking is there. We (Civil Aviation Ministry) are working on positive and negative aspects of it,” he said.
Asked when the clearances would be given, the minister said, “We don’t put any timeline. There is no need to fix a timeline.”
He said, “For a long time now, apart from the flights originating in India, overflying aircrafts (international aircrafts using Indian airspace) have been requesting permission to allow the use of Wi-Fi in India.”
“We are working on the amendment of the particular legislation, after which aircrafts both overflying and those taking off from India would be able to provide the services to their passengers,” he added.
Raju said the security concerns while allowing Wi-Fi onboard remains a crucial issue. “Technology can be both used and misused,” he added.
He said that international airplanes flying in Indian airspace are required to switch off their inflight Wi-Fi service for the entire time they fly over India.