The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has approached the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and concerned Ministry for permission to launch satellite-based ‘In-Flight Connectivity (IFC)’ in the aircraft flying over India, both for the domestic and foreign airlines, announces a release from ASSOCHAM.
IFC promises to substantially improve safety of airlines as it enables flight tracking in respect of aircraft in near real time reporting latitude, longitude, altitude, true heading and ground speed; Streaming of flight data recorder off the aircraft in real time; and Facilitating real-time intervention for safety and security based on flight data monitoring, the chamber mentioned in a letter to the Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju and the Communication Minister Manoj Sinha.
“Aviation is facing a technological revolution. As aircraft becomes smart, fully connected machine, new services can be introduced to benefit the passenger experience, grow revenue for operators and improve safety. All this relies on stable and safe connectivity – from the cabin to the cockpit. IFC can, in fact, cover both cabin service provision to the passengers and cockpit safety and security services, such as flight tracking”, it added.
In-flight connectivity is already provided in many countries and airlines. Countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal have permitted IFC in airplanes. As the service is not permitted in India, the travelers from other countries are forced to switch off their connectivity on devices while passing over the Indian sky, resulting in the disruption of communication to passengers.
A customer survey revealed that the passengers wish to obtain connectivity in airplanes. In the survey, it was also evident that the customers would prefer to choose an airline based on the connectivity it provides.
If the proposed permission is sanctioned, this hurdle will be cleared for the air passengers. IFC will also offer digital payment in the aircraft eliminating cash deals on airplanes, added the statement from ASSOCHAM.