In-flight Wi-Fi: Government says no security assessment done by DGCA

The aviation regulator DGCA has not carried out any study to assess the possible security implications of Wi-Fi connectivity on board flights, the government told the Parliament today.

Published: 07th March 2018 08:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th March 2018 08:17 AM   |  A+A-

An Indigo Airlines flight from Visakhapatnam to Bangalore did not take off from Visakhapatnam airport, after its pilot allegedly noticed that a bird stuck in the propeller. (File | Reuters)

Image for representational purpose only. (File Photo | Reuters)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The aviation regulator DGCA has not carried out any study to assess the possible security implications of Wi-Fi connectivity on board flights, the government told the Parliament today.

In January, the telecom regulator TRAI had recommended allowing use of mobile phone calls and internet services like Wi-Fi on domestic and international flights in India, provided there is a mechanism for lawful interception and monitoring of Wi-Fi to ensure safety.

"No, Sir. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have not conducted any specific study to examine the security implications of the Wi-Fi connectivity," the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

While the ministry of civil aviation has been pressing for in-flight Wi-Fi to be permitted for the past three years, issues pertaining to security have been delaying the final decision on the matter One of the key concerns from the security aspect pertains to monitoring data and voice transmission.

In its recommendations, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has mandated deployment of a gateway on Indian soil through which internet traffic in an aircraft can be intercepted and monitored.

In-flight connectivity provider such as SITA ONAIR and provider of global mobile satellite communications INMARSAT maintain that the pre-requisite laid down by the government is not difficult to meet because the kind of gateway or interception facility demanded by it is already being implemented in several other countries.

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