CAAS studies new US rules that let passengers use devices on all flight stages

SINGAPORE - The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) yesterday said it is studying the new US guidelines to assess whether it is feasible to implement them.


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

According to a statement by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Oct 31, a spokesman announced that it has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance.

The FAA based its decision on input from a group of experts that included airline representatives. aviation manufacturers, passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and the mobile technology industry.

It expects many US carriers to allow passengers to safely use devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year, with the exception being the actual takeoff and landing roll, when passengers have to stow away their devices for safety, but still switched on and in airplane mode.

The PED Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) concluded that most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference signals from PEDs. Once tolerance is confirmed, the airline's fleet can allow passengers to use their mobile devices safely.

From the press statement by the FAA:

Top Things Passengers Should Know about Expanded Use of PEDs on Airplanes:

1. Make safety your first priority.

2. Changes to PED policies will not happen immediately and will vary by airline. Check with your airline to see if and when you can use your PED.

3. Current PED policies remain in effect until an airline completes a safety assessment, gets FAA approval, and changes its PED policy.

4. Cell phones may not be used for voice communications.

5. Devices must be used in airplane mode or with the cellular connection disabled. You may use the WiFi connection on your device if the plane has an installed WiFi system and the airline allows its use. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.

6. Properly stow heavier devices under seats or in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing. These items could impede evacuation of an aircraft or may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident.

7. During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember's instructions.

8. It only takes a few minutes to secure items according to the crew's instructions during takeoff and landing.

9. In some instances of low visibility - about one per cent of flights - some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.

10. Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.

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