No internet connectivity on planes over Indian airspace

By Atul Dua and Anuradha, Seth Dua & Associates
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Each time you board an aircraft to fly in India or even overfly the country, you are journeying back in time. An iron curtain prohibits flyers in Indian airspace from enjoying Wi-Fi connectivity. While international flyers can log on to the internet as soon as they are out of Indian airspace, domestic ones can do so only before take-off and after landing.

Atul Dua Seinor partner Seth Dua & Associates
Atul Dua
Seinor partner
Seth Dua & Associates

National carrier Air India stumbled on this archaic but still in force rule while preparing to have Wi-Fi on its aircraft. India does not allow either internet or mobile connectivity so even planes of foreign airlines have to switch these systems off while flying over the country. Past requests by some private and foreign airlines for permission to use Wi-Fi over Indian airspace were refused. Such a ban does not make sense when advanced countries take pride in ensuring that flyers over their airspace remain connected all the time.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) civil aviation requirement 3.1 clearly says: “No person shall use any electronic device, which intentionally transmits radio signals like mobile/cellular phones, amateur radio transceivers, etc. at all times while on board an aircraft for the purpose of flight.” It also cites aircraft rule 29B: “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.”

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Atul Dua is a senior partner and Anuradha is an associate at Seth Dua & Associates.

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Email: atul.dua@sethdua.com

anuradha@sethdua.com

Website: www.sethdua.com

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