Work, play, listen to music, watch preloaded movies, type that all important e-mail, all these and more from the comfort of your aircraft seat while you are cruising at an altitude of 30,000 feet or more.
Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday amended the rule that disallowed the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs), thereby allowing the use of such gadgets in all phases of flight but on a non-transmitting or flight mode, according to a DGCA statement. It said a section on civil aviation requirements (CAR), relating to air safety, has been amended to allow the use of PEDs in “non-transmitting mode, commonly called flight or airplane mode”.
The amended rule, however, does not allow flyers to talk on their cellphones during flight and the mails that are composed on board would be sent only after the plane touches down at an airport.
The decision to allow PEDs was made after a meeting on the issue last week, when scheduled airlines raised the demand to have the facility during all phases of flight.
The new rule, which was demanded by airlines and flyers for long, would put India on par with some other countries that allow the use of mobiles while on board. The DGCA examined their demand in view of the new regulations of US regulator, Federal Aviation Administration, and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, which allow the use of PEDs on flight mode in all phases of flight.
The DGCA has also laid down training guidelines for crew to handle the new facility being given to air travellers. The new rule directs airlines to report to the DGCA any suspected or confirmed PED interference or smoke or fire caused by them.