Internet surfing on flights may be allowed from New Year: Sinha

Internet surfing on flights may be allowed from New Year: Sinha

Agency News

New Delhi, Dec 5: The Government is contemplating to allow the internet surfing during flights in Indian airspace from the New Year, Union Communication Minister Manoj Sinha said on Wednesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a function here, Mr Sinha said his ministry has already drafted the rules and usage of internet during flights and have sent the proposal to the Union Law Ministry.

He added that they have been awaiting the nod of the Law Ministry and expected that it would come within a week or ten days.

The Minister said if it comes, the rules and regulations would be notified by the New Year.

It is notable that India is the only country, besides North Korea, to bar in-flight data so far. The government had till now cited national security as a reason for not enabling this facility.

However, scores of airlines in countries like the US, Europe, and West Asia already offer in-flight WiFi but they had to turn it off upon entering the Indian airspace. State-owned Air India as well as other Indian carriers—Indigo, Vistara, AirAsia, Spicejet—have been offering internet connectivity on some international routes, but not within India.

A separate category of licensees - in-flight service providers - will be created for offering such services, and licence fee for such niche providers will be pegged at Re 1. (UNI)