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

LegalitySimplified

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”. The Paper was released on 10th December, 2022.

Department of Telecommunication (DoT), had defined VHF (Very High Frequency) data link services to consist of data for tracking the aircraft for safety of flights. This reference was made in its letter dated 12th April 2022.

Additionally, the Ministry of Communications has made frequency assignments to M/s Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautique (SITA) and M/s Bird Consultancy Services (BCS) to operate VHF Data Communication Link between aircrafts and ground stations.

DoT has requested TRAI 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.

This is in contemplation that VHF Data Link Services can provide Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting (ACAR) service. This is beneficial to track aircrafts on a real-time basis and help investigations/ search and rescue operations in the unfortunate event of aviation disaster.

In this regard, the present Consultation Paper been placed on TRAl’s website (www.trai.gov.in). It seeks inputs from stakeholders in the form of written comments by 9th January 2023 and counter comments by 23rdJanuary 2023.

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

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