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DGCA allows in-flight use of mobiles, laptops

 Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday said that air passengers can now use portable electronic devices such as mobiles, laptops and tablets in all phases of their flight.
In a notice, the air regulator said, ‘The DGCA has amended its Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) relating to air safety today and decided to allow the use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) including cellphones. The use of PEDs shall be in the non-transmitting mode commonly called flight/
airplane mode.’

Prior to this amendment, the rules prohibited the in-air use of electronic devices by passengers. Hence, before take offs, cabin crew asked flyers to switch off all cell phones and other electronic devices such as lap tops and electronic book readers. Passengers could switch these on only post-landing.

With the implementation of the new CAR, flyers will be able to turn on their portable electronic devices on ‘flight mode’ to work, read, listen to music or even play video games.
The permission comes in wake of a request from scheduled operators, that, according to the notice, had in a meeting with the DGCA on 17 April, raised the demand for allowing use of PEDs during all phases of flight in the flight/airplane mode.

The DGCA examined their demand in the context of the regulations of the US regulator Federal Aviation Administration and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, both of which allow the use of PEDs on flight mode in all phases of a flight. The aviation regulator has also laid down training guidelines for the flight crew on handling this new facility being given to air travellers.
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