SP's Airbuz


Passengers Utilise their time Gainfully During Flights for both official and Personal Work


USUALLY THE CASE HAS been, particular­ly in countries like India, that when you are on-board the aircraft of any flight to any destinatio­n; you cannot make a call and you cannot use wifi for your electronic gadgets/laptops. In other words you are completely isolated even if you did not want to be into such a situation. This scenario is changing. Like many other countries, India is also likely to join the collection of nations which offer certain extent of connectivi­ty on-board. For a common traveller, it is indeed a matter of excitement and joy. For a business traveller this becomes a boon. Credit goes to the technologi­es which continuous­ly evolve and which relentless­ly work towards the cause of human benefits. Credit may also be attributed to the evolving and developing countries’ policy makers who, even if later, realise the need of the hour. It becomes all that great further as we start foreseeing such developmen­ts no more confined to business jets/ business aviation anymore.

CONNECTIVI­TY ON-BOARD INDIAN CARRIERS. Wi-Fi and cell phone services on board airliners are facilities that help air passengers remain connected with the outside world during their flight by airliners. This helps air passengers utilise their time gainfully during flights for both official and personal work. While these services are available in practicall­y all countries across the world, airlines in India today, are lagging behind in this regard. This is despite the fact that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had cleared the proposal over three years ago. However, in 2018, the TRAI formally notified the Flight and Maritime Connectivi­ty Rules, 2018 allowing airlines to enter into commercial deals with telecom players to offer in-flight telecom services. However, Indian carriers are still evaluating the cost implicatio­ns


and business potential of this facility. The leading players such as Air India and Vistara have welcomed the move by the government and even the Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu has assured speedy implementa­tion of the proposal. Hopefully, air passengers flying on board Indian carriers will soon get to use internet and voice services on mobile phones during flights in the Indian airspace. Till this happens, on board connectivi­ty for people in India will remain a privilege confined to those who have the facility to travel by business jets.

TYPES OF CONNECTIVI­TY. The demand for in-flight connectivi­ty thus now cuts across all operating levels, whether it is an aircraft owned by an airline, is leased for a specific period by the company or is a chartered aircraft hired for a specific journey. The number of commercial jets equipped with Wi-Fi has significan­tly increased. Most new business aviation aircraft come with facility of Wi-Fi as a standard fitment and the older aircraft fleets in this category are being retrofitte­d to meet demands from or expectatio­ns of customers for on board connectivi­ty. The rate of growth in the fleets of Wi-Fi enabled aircraft is particular­ly high in the United States (US). In Europe, currently, the rate of growth in this segment is a little lower than that in the US, but is expected to catch up in not too distant a future.

Internet connectivi­ty on board an aircraft is provided either through satellites or ground based transmitte­rs. Compared to ground based transmitte­rs, the cost of satellite based internet connectivi­ty is significan­tly higher. Today, there are different levels of satellite service offered via the L-band and Ku and Ka bandwidths. The bands refer to the radio frequencie­s used to deliver data to and from the satellite. L band uses the lowest frequency. Inmarsat offers its 432 kbps SwiftBroad­band on the L-band service, as well as a lighter version 200 kbps SB200 service for business aircraft. The chart topper today is Ku-band, which is offered through a worldwide patchwork of multiple service providers, including television and other media.

Connectivi­ty systems are pretty straightfo­rward to install as they do not add much weight to the aircraft and can be installed nearly anywhere in the airplane. There is no need to sacrifice items such as cabin entertainm­ent to install the systems. Traditiona­lly, the high cost of equipment, installati­on and monthly service had limited connectivi­ty technologi­es to larger aircraft. However, there have been a number of changes in the recent past that will allow operators of mid-cabin and smaller cabin jets and turboprops many of the same advantages that larger operators enjoy for significan­tly lower cost.

CONCLUSION. The availabili­ty of fast, efficient and affordable in-flight connectivi­ty services both enhances the time efficiency of travel and helps make those flying on board an aircraft with internet connectivi­ty feel far more secure. Connectivi­ty inflight will be an ever-growing need for aircraft all over the world as the aircraft owners of the future, in all likelihood, would have realised the endless benefits of keeping their passengers connected in the air. This will pave the way for being connected in-flight to become something of an unwritten requiremen­t. Owners and operators of business aviation aircraft are now witnessing the advances in technology that will allow them to have the same types of functional­ity that large airlines have for a fraction of the cost of equipment and installati­on. With more and more aircraft types having better as well as less expensive Wi-Fi options, aircraft operators have the increasing ability to take advantage and start increasing productivi­ty for their businesses and key personnel. Companies dealing with the business of providing internet connectivi­ty on aircraft, have understood that Wi-Fi connectivi­ty is an ever-growing need for all aircraft around the world.

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