DGCA allows use of mobiles, laptops throughout flight

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed the use of portable electronic devices like cell phones and laptop computers by passengers throughout the flight, including during take-offs and landings.

The DGCA said it has amended the rule that banned the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) and allowed their usage in all phases of the flight, but on a non-transmitting mode, commonly known as the flight mode.

The earlier rule prohibited this usage during take-offs and landings, but permitted the use of electronic devices during the rest of the flight.

Passengers will henceforth be asked to put their mobile phones in the flight mode instead of asking to switch them off.

Under the new Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR), flyers can turn on their cellphones, tablets or laptops on 'flight mode' to work, play video games, listen to music, watch pre-loaded movies or type their emails.

The mails would, however, be sent only after the plane lands at an airport.

DGCA has also laid down training guidelines for the flight crew to handle the new facility being given to the air travellers.

The new rule also directs all airlines to report any suspected or confirmed PED interference or smoke or fire caused by them to the regulator.

They said that a section of the CAR relating to air safety has been amended to allow the use of PEDs in ''non-transmitting mode, commonly called Flight/Airplane Mode''.

The decision was taken after a meeting on the issue last week when scheduled airlines had raised the demand to allow the use of PEDs during all phases of flight.

The new regulations of the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency allow the use of PEDs on flight mode in all phases of a flight.