Air Travelers in India can now enjoy WiFi services on the board as a notification released by Ministry of Aviation on 21 February 2020 has allowed domestic Airlines in India to provide their passenger In-Flight WiFi services. However, there are some rules the Airline have to follow. For example, The Airline must have been approved by Director General of Civil Aviation to provide their passenger WiFi services on the Board.
Note: The notification allowed only Domestic Airlines to provide In-Flight WiFi Services.
Now, if DGCA approved the Airline to provide their passenger WiFi services on the board, it is the decision of the main captain to turn on and off the WiFi services on the board.
Also, the main captain on the board is allowed to Turn ON wifi services only when the plane is in the Air and not allowed to Turn ON the same service while the plane is landing or taking off.
In case when the Whether is not clear, the main captain has also the authority to Turn OFF the WiFi services on the board.
A passenger on the other side able to access the same service while using their electronic device like Smartphone, Laptop, Smart Watch, and E-Reader in Airplane mode or Flight mode. That means cellular services are still not allowed on the board.
Coming to any Domestic Airlines we know so far, Viastara Airlines has partnered with Nelco to provide In-Flight WiFi services and it looks like they are going to become the first Indian domestic Airline going to provide their customer In-Flight WiFi services.
Ministry of Civil Aviation Allowed Domestic Airlines to provide their Passenger In-Flight WiFi Services
Here it is What is Published in the same Gazette Notification released by Ministry of Civil Aviation on 21 February 2020.
In the Aircraft Rules, 1937, for rule 29B, the following rule shall be substituted, namely.
“29B. Prohibition on the use of portable electronic devices.
1. No Person shall operate, nor shall the operator or the pilot-in-command of an aircraft allow the operation of any portable electronic device on board an aircraft in flight provided that the Pilot-in-Command may permit use of cellular telephone by the passengers of a flight after the aircraft has landed and cleared active runaway, except when the landing takes place in low visibility condiditions as may be determined by the Director-General from time to time.
2. The Provision to rule 1 shall not apply to portable voice recorders, hearing aids, heart pacemaker, electric shavers or other portable electronic devices which, in the opinion of the operator, do not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft on which it is to be operated and for which such operator has obtained the approval of the Director-General.
3. Notwithstanding anything contained in rule 1, the Pilot-In-Command may permit the access of internet services by passengers on board an aircraft in flight, through WiFi 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 usage of internet service in Flight through Wi-Fi on board subject to the procedures as specified in this behalf.
Explanation: For the purposes of this rule, an aircraft shall be deemed to be in flight when all its external doors are closed following embarkation until the moment when any such door is opened for disembarkation.Notification released by Ministry of Civil Aviation on 21-02-2020 about In-Flight WiFi services.