News Column

Canada relaxes mobile rules for flights

June 1, 2014

OTTAWA: Canada, following the lead of the US and the EU, relaxed official restrictions on using mobile devices in flight while maintaining a ban on transmitting information this week.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said air passengers could now use smartphones, cameras, electronic games, tablets and computers throughout a flight.

Under current Canadian rules, all such devices must be shut down during take off and landing.

Passengers, however, will only be able to enjoy the new freedom if the airline they are flying on updates their safety manuals and can guarantee that during take off and landings all passengers are able to follow crew instructions, said Raitt.

"We wouldn't have approved this if we were concerned that it would affect either the safety of air travellers or of crews," she told a news conference.

She also said the ban on sending or receiving e-mails and phone |calls in flight would remain in place.

The US Federal Aviation Administration announced similar measures for users of personal electronic devices in October.

The EU followed suit in December. - Reuters

Weekend Argus

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Source: Weekend Argus (South Africa)

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