The government is planning to allow Wi-Fi onboard aircraft flying in and out of India, as the home, telecom and aviation ministries have reached on a consensus on the issue after detailed discussions over the security aspects of such a decision.
“In about ten days, it will be possible for us to announce that (Wi-Fi inside aircraft),” Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said at the silver jubilee celebrations of the Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) on Wednesday.
Chaubey was replying to a question on how soon can the government allow Wi-Fi on aircraft flying in and out of India.
Speaking on the occasion, textiles minister Smriti Irani said that the recently-announced National Civil Aviation policy will correct the regional imbalance of air connectivity in the country and also aid skill development.
Irani also felicitated Nidhi Chaphekar, the crew member of Jet Airways who suffered injuries during the Brussels terror attacks this year. Chaphekar is currently recuperating at a Mumbai hospital.
At the same event, consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan said his ministry which is piloting the draft Consumer Protection Amendment Bill hopes that these provisions will go a long way in protecting the interest of consumers and empowering them to know their rights.
“The Bill could be passed during the Winter Session of Parliament,” he said, adding that the proposed legislation tries to guard consumer interests and seeks to simplify functioning of the consumer courts.
Sharing the disappointment of Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari, who shared his experience about the difficulties he faced on account of last minute cancellations, Paswan said that the proposed legislation would be stringent in nature and ensure that both the consumers’ and airlines’ interest are taken into account. During his speech, Gadkari said he expects airfares to turn cheaper than rail fares very soon, but lamented that airlines have not passed on much of the benefits of lower crude oil prices to customers.
APAI founder D Sudhakar Reddy said that the association has made a significant contribution in protecting the interests of the passengers and expects its membership to grow exponentially over the years.