The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

No more stowing of electronic devices during takeoff and landing, says Raitt

  • Print
A passenger checks her cell phone before a flight, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, in Boston. Transport Minister Lisa Raitt says regulations are being changed to permit the use of video games, tablets, computers and cameras at any time during a flight, including during takeoff and landing. Travellers using electronic devices will, however, still have to make sure their devices aren't transmitting a signal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Matt Slocum

Enlarge Image

A passenger checks her cell phone before a flight, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, in Boston. Transport Minister Lisa Raitt says regulations are being changed to permit the use of video games, tablets, computers and cameras at any time during a flight, including during takeoff and landing. Travellers using electronic devices will, however, still have to make sure their devices aren't transmitting a signal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Matt Slocum

OTTAWA - For tech-savvy travellers, flying the Canadian skies is about to get just a little bit friendlier.

The federal government is changing regulations to permit the use of video games, tablets, computers and cameras at any time during a flight, including during takeoff and landing, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said Monday.

"We're going to be allowing passengers to use portable electronic devices during takeoff, ascent, descent and landing provide that the airlines have met certain safety conditions," Raitt told a news conference at the Ottawa airport.

Travellers still won't be allowed to use cellphones or access WiFi, or use any device that hasn't had its transmitting functions disabled, since such activity can interfere with aircraft systems, she added.

But as long as a device is in "airplane mode" and unable to send or receive a signal, its use will be permitted "gate to gate" — a change Raitt said is meant to strike a better balance between safety and passenger comfort.

Under the regulation exemption, airlines will also have to demonstrate that their aircraft are not affected by the devices and that passengers can still be made aware of crew instructions during emergencies.

The exemption takes effect immediately, although it will be up to individual airlines to determine when they are ready to adopt the change, said Raitt.

Canadian airlines were informed in advance that the rule change was being contemplated, giving them time to prepare for Monday's announcement. Air Canada, for one, said it welcomes the decision.

"Our customers have been telling us they want the option to use their (personal electronic devices) at all times on board our aircraft, both for working and entertainment," the airline said in a statement.

"Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and its Air Canada Express regional partners are finalizing measures to safely implement the new procedures."

A ban on using over-the-ears headphones, however, remains in effect on board Air Canada flights during the usual periods when passengers need to be able to hear announcements: takeoff, ascent, descent and landing.

WestJet said it had already completed comprehensive testing of the electronic systems aboard its next-generation Boeing 737 fleet to support the expanded use of personal electronic devices.

But more work is required to properly train flight crews, amend operating manuals and demonstrate that radio signals from devices don't pose a risk to aircraft systems and equipment, the airline said.

Last year, the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority lifted its ban on the use of portable electronic devices under safe flying conditions.

Shortly afterward, all major U.S. airlines began allowing the gate-to-gate use of devices and the European Aviation Safety Agency quickly followed suit.

Canada's move brings domestic carriers in line with other airlines around the world, Raitt added.

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

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Tree remover has special connection to Grandma Elm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you like Gord Steeves’ idea to sell four city-owned golf courses to fund road renewal?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google