On-board Wi-Fi may soon become a reality as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sent a revised proposal that will enable in-flight access to voice, data and video services. Given the poor etiquette of cell phone users in this country combined with lack of civility and concern for others, the flights will be unbearable for travellers. You cannot even get off till you get to your destination! We already see the madness which ensues at the end of every flight even before the cell phone usage permission is announced. In-Flight Connectivity (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 of the aircraft in real-time; and facilitating real-time intervention for safety and security based on flight data monitoring. A large number of countries, including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, permit the use of the internet on flights. Live Internet streaming is not possible on flights under the present law.
Calicut Krishnan Suresh
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)