China Aviation Ushered-in the Era of Air WiFi

February 16, 2018

It is a plea heard by passengers at the beginning of thousands of flights around the world each day. “Please set your portable electronic devices, including any mobile phones, to flight mode.” Most people do it, even if they're not 100% sure why.

 

Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as the first organization, restricts cell phone usage on aircraft to prevent disruption to cellular towers on the ground. In 1993, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to prevent the potential interference of cell phone signals on the plane, expressly banned the use of mobile phones on the plane. Subsequently, countries all over the world banned the use of mobile phones on planes.  

 

All Chinese airlines (apart from Hong Kong and Macau airlines, which are regulated by different authorities) ban the use of mobile phones at any point of the flight, even if the phone is switched into the "flight mode".

 

Since October 31, 2013 the FAA issued a press release called "FAA to Allow Airlines to Expand Use of Personal Electronics", in which and it announced that "airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight." Some airlines have started to install technology to allow phones to be connected within the airplane as it flies. Those systems were tested on scheduled flights from 2006 and in 2008 several airlines started to allow in-flight use of mobile phones.

 

In October 2017, Civil Aviation Administration of China, "Large Aircraft Public Air Transport Carrier Certification Regulations" fifth revised version was issued. The most maskable change is that CAAC doesn’t prohibit the use of personal electronic devices (including cell phones) on aircraft and leaves it up to airlines to determine whether portable electronic devices could be used in flight.

On January 16, 2018, in line with China’s national conditions, a series of work such as technical test and revision of rules and regulations, “Guidance” issued by Civil Aviation Authority pointed out that the conditions for using PED on the aircraft have been basically established.

 

On January 17, 2018, Hainan airlines announced that PEDs can be used. Since 20th January 2018, Beijing time zero, China Eastern announced that passengers can use mobile phones (smart phones), tablets (Pad), Laptops, e-readers and other electronic devices in flight under the premise of complying with the China Eastern relevant principles.

 

 It has been reported in 2017, the potential WIFI passenger consumer market for civil aviation is estimated at 2.45 billion -84 billion. It is estimated that the domestic route WIFI is priced at 10 yuan / time, the international route WIFI pricing 100 yuan / time, respectively, 60%, 80% of domestic and international airlines booking Air WIFI. Optimistically Air WIFI market revenue is estimated at 8.4 billion. There are obviously plenty of business interests that can be tapped.  "air payments" via mobile phones will also create more revenue streams for airlines

 

 

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