Wings Magazine

News
Electronic devices can be now used in flight: Raitt

May 26, 2014, Ottawa - Airline passengers will soon be able to use their electronic devices on flights, according to the federal government.


May 26, 2014
By CBC News

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said air passengers will be able to use
their portable electronic devices — including cameras, tablets, gaming
consoles and computers — during takeoff, ascent, descent and landing of a
flight, as long as the devices are in non-transmitting, or flight,
mode.

Cellphones and smartphones, which are transmitting devices, will only
be allowed to be used during the taxi-in phase, when plane heads
in towards the gate.

 

Raitt announced the changes billed to benefit Canadian air travellers at a news conference at the Ottawa airport Monday.

Advertisment


"If you think about it, here you are trying to finish a memo,
or you're trying to finish reading a document or you have your child
next to you who's playing on their Nintendo DS or on a tablet. Now, you
have productivity time and you have the freedom to choose," Raitt said.

 

"It's good news for air passengers and it's good news for the federal aviation industry."

 

Raitt also said the government's changes will have another effect.

 

"It'll ensure that Canadian operators can remain globally competitive," she said.

 

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration moved to allow use of
portable electronic devices on U.S. flights last October, as did the
European Union in December.

Earlier this year, Air Canada and WestJet announced they would be adding Wi-Fi access for passengers aboard their planes.

 

Although the airlines started making moves to install equipment for
ground-to-air internet service, they still had to wait for Transport
Canada approval before plowing ahead. 

 

Air Canada plans to make wireless internet available on 130 of its
narrow-bodied, North American aircraft by the end of 2015, while
WestJet said it would start offering wireless aboard its planes by the
end of this year. 


Transport Canada is also looking at a proposal to reduce the number of onboard flight attendants to passengers. 

 

The government is hoping to introduce regulation that would allow
airlines to have one flight attendant to every 50 passenger seats, a
change from current regulations allowing one attendant to every 40
passengers.

 

Flight attendants have been pushing back against such a move, saying that the new ratio would put Canadians at risk.