Canada's Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced Monday (May 26) airline passengers will now be able to use their portable electronic devices throughout a flight, even takeoffs and landings, although still not connected to the Internet or cellphone networks.
Photo Credit: Matt Slocum/AP

Canada to permit use of electronic devices during plane takeoffs, landings

Canada’s Transport Minister Lisa Raitt has announced air passengers will now be allowed to use portable electronic devices throughout a plane’s journey, even takeoff and landing. The devices will still have to be in “Airplane Mode” and not connected to the Internet or cell networks. She made the announcement Monday (May 26).

“It’s good news for air passengers and it’s good news for the federal aviation industry,” said Raitt.”It’ll ensure that Canadian operators can remain globally competitive.

“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.”

The minister said the rules will come into effect as soon as airlines are ready, and said they had received advance notice of the change in regulations.

Canada’s largest airline Air Canada welcomed the news in a press release Monday.

“Our customers have been telling us they want the option to use their PEDs  [Portable Electronic Devices] at all times on board our aircraft both for working and entertainment. Moreover, this change will bring our policies in line with those of other jurisdictions for use of PEDs on aircraft, eliminating uncertainty for customers. We appreciate Transport Canada’s support of our efforts to implement these new rules safely and quickly,” said Craig Landry, Vice President of Marketing at Air Canada.

Up until now, even with the WiFi/ cell connection off, passengers could use their devices only during the journey, and not on takeoffs, descents or landing.

It’s not clear how flight attendants will establish if a device is in “Airplane Mode”.

More information:
Transport Canada press release – The Harper government to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices during all phases of flight – here
CBC News – Transport Minister Lisa Raitt says electronic devices can be used during takeoff, ascent, descent, landing – here
Toronto Star – Air travellers can now use electronic devices on aircraft in Canada – here
Air Canada press release – Air Canada Ready to Implement Expanded Use of Portable Electronic Devices for all Phases of Flight aboard its Aircraft – here

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