Airline passengers in India can now use their smartphones, tablets, etc when the flight is taking off. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has relaxed air-safety rules to allow the usage of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) at all stages of a flight, including during take-off and landing.
The decision was made when domestic airlines raised the demand to allow the use of PEDs during all phases of flight. DGCA examined their demand in view of the latest regulations of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and US Federal Aviation Administration, which permit the use of PEDs on flights during all phases of a flight.The move now puts India at par with other countries that allow use of mobiles while flying except for making calls. Some foreign airlines have also started allowing passengers to make phone calls using satellite-based technology during flights but it still not widely done.
"The use of PEDs shall be in the non-transmitting mode commonly called flight/airplane mode. The amended civil aviation regulation also directs all operators for reporting of any suspected or confirmed PED interference or smoke or fire caused by PEDs to the DGCA. It also lays down the guidelines for the crew training,” the civil aviation regulator stated in a notification.
The DGCA's move has been welcomed by airlines, which was a long pending demand. “Good move by DGCA, now will be easier to monitor device usage (no more hidden phones) and passengers benefit as well,” Sanjiv Kapoor, chief operating officer of SpiceJet wrote on social networking site Twitter.