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Canada to allow plane passengers to use electronic devices

Staff writer |
Canada decided it will permit passengers on commercial airline flights to use their electronic devices from takeoff to landing.

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Canada follows the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Union that earlier allowed the use of portable electronic devices on aircraft. The FAA did so in October 2013 while the EU followed suit in December.

Canadian Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt said passengers will be able to use laptops, tablets, cameras and gaming consoles from an aircraft's takeoff, ascent, descent and until it lands as long as these devices are in a non-transmitting mode or flight mode.

On the other hand, transmitting devices such as smartphones and celphones can only be used in normal mode when the aircraft is taxiing or is heading toward an airport's gate. But if the devices are on flight mode, smartphones and celphones can be used throughout all flight phases.

Airlines that intend to allow the use of devices on their flights, however, must prove to the federal government their planes won't be affected by the use of these electronic devices. Airlines must apply for an exemption to current federal regulations to allow passengers to use electronic devices throughout an entire flight.

Airlines will also have to ensure that passengers are aware of and are able to follow crew instructions during passenger safety briefings and emergencies.


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