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TRAI releases Consultation Paper on “Data Communication Services between Aircraft and Ground Stations provided by Organizations other than Airports Authority of India”

 New Delhi. : The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a Consultation Paper on “Data Communication Services between Aircraft and Ground Stations provided by Organizations other than Airports Authority of India”, here yesterday.

Department of Telecommunication (DoT), through its letter dated 12th April 2022, has inter-alia stated that VHF data link services consist of the data for the tracking the aircraft for safety of flights. The Ministry of Communications has made frequency assignments to M/s Société Internationale de TélécommunicationsAéronautique (SITA) and M/s Bird Consultancy Services (BCS) to operate VHF Data Communication Link between aircrafts and ground stations.Considering that VHF Data Link Services to provide Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting (ACAR) service can be beneficial to track aircrafts on a real-time basis and help investigations/ search and rescue operations in the unfortunate event of aviation disaster, DoT has requested TRAI under the terms of clause 11(1)(a) of TRAI Act, 1997 (as amended) to provide recommendations on the following:

  1. An appropriate mechanism to regulate the services provided by these organizations;
  2. The manner in which the frequency assignment should be made to these organizations, in light of the supreme Court judgment made in the 2G case in 2012 – to assign radio frequencies only through auction.

In this regard, a Consultation Paper on “Data Communication Services Between Aircraft and Ground Stations Provided by Organizations Other Than Airports Authority of India”, seeking inputs from stakeholders have been placed on TRAl’s website (www.trai.gov.in). Written comments on the issues raised in the Consultation Paper are invited from stakeholders by 9th January 2023 and counter comments by 23rdJanuary 2023.

The comments/ counter-comments may be sent, preferably in electronic form at advmn@trai.gov.in. For any clarification/ information, Shri Akhilesh Kumar Trivedi, Advisor (Networks, Spectrum and Licensing), TRAI may be contacted at Telephone Number +91-11-23210481.