In a fresh move, the government has allowed airlines to provide in-flight Wifi services in India. The development was confirmed by the Civil Aviation Ministry, which confirmed the lift of restrictions on flyers and said passengers will now be able to access the internet through Wifi onboard flights.
According to the official notification by the Aviation Ministry, "The Pilot-in-Command may permit the access of internet services by passengers on board an aircraft in flight, through Wii-Fi on board, when laptop, smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, e-reader or a point of sale device is used in flight mode or airplane mode."
"Provided that the Director-General shall certify the aircraft for the usage of internet service in-flight through Wi-Fi on board subject to the procedures as specified in this behalf," it added.
Explaining the new rule, an official said the Wifi services onboard flights can be accessed from the time when the flight doors are closed, till the same opened for disembarkation.
While taking the delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 aircraft at Everett last Friday, Vistara CEO Leslie Thng had told reporters that it would be the first plane in India to provide in-flight Wi-Fi services.
The availability of the internet and mobile communications on board aircraft (MCA) service was initially recommended by the Indian telecom regulator in 2018, that said the services should be permitted as In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) in the Indian airspace.
In December last year, the railways had provided free WiFi services at 5,500 stations across the country. Jharkhand's Mahuamilan station, which comes under the East Central Railway zone, has become the 5,500th station to get the facility, it said.
The Railways began the service of providing free WiFi at its stations from January 2016 from Mumbai Central station, and in a span of 46 months, RailTel has extended the service to 5,500 stations across the country.