DGCA releases draft rules for use of Wi-Fi on flights
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),the country’s aviation regulator, has released draft rules for the use of Wi-Fi on portable electronic devices (PEDs) during flights. Specifying that the services would be offered only on their device’s flight mode, the aviation regulator’s draft stated that internet services through Wi-Fi on flights will be available from 10,000 ft (3000 m) above sea level after departure or before arrival.
DGCA has empowered the pilot in command (PIC) of a flight to deactivate the use of PEDs during any phase of flight. The regulator has also asked cabin crew, besides their other duties, to keep a watch on the passengers to ensure they comply with the prohibitory requirements.
It has asked the airlines to conduct training for their crew on the PEDs that passengers cannot use on the flight. Airlines have been asked to even educate their cabin crew on the procedures and responsibilities concerning the use of PEDs.
DGCA director general Arun Kumar said, “The aircraft operator has to ensure that the In-Flight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC) services being provided en route are approved by the department of telecommunication and the aircraft has approval from the DGCA.”
This comes five months after the central government permitted internet access to passengers through onboard Wi-Fi and issued official notification regarding the same on March 2.
Passengers in India have been allowed the use of mobiles and laptops to play games, listen to songs, watch videos or do offline work since 2014.