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Policy digest: No WiFi for Air India flights; tracking transfers; DDA & telecom billing

Air India will not be able to offer WiFi on its flights due to government regulations that prohibits use of WiFi and mobile connectivity during a flight, reports The Times of India. The company was reportedly in talks with in-flight WiFi service provider OnAir who informed the airline that none of the flights they offer the service to, could provide WiFi while flying over India. Air India will now request both the home and telecom ministry to lift this ban on WiFi in flights. The regulations as of now allows use of electronics equipment only when the flight is in cruise phase. Passengers need to turn off their devices during take-off and landing. No, putting the device in airplane mode is not good enough, technically speaking. DGCA's civil aviation requirement 3.1 states, "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 a corresponding rule in Aircraft rule (29 B): "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." Recent studies have shown that WiFi and other communication networks have no effect on the communication between pilot and ground crew. Following this, American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had changed its rules to allow use of most electronic equipment on board There has also been the argument that cellphones operate…

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