DGCA allows use of cell phones after aircraft landing

According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the civil aviation regulatory authority, air passengers are now allowed to use cell phones in an aircraft after it lands and clears the active runway.

"The DGCA has amended the Rule 29B of Aircraft Rules to provide for the use of the cellular phones by passengers after the aircraft has landed and cleared the active runway, except in cases when low visibility conditions exist at the airport," said an official statement.

The regulator said the pilot in command of the flight, after clearing the active runway, and with no other runway or intersections to cross in visual flight conditions will intimate the cabin crew to announce that the passengers may use their cellular phones.

The crew may announce: "Passengers are advised that the use of mobile phones after landing is now allowed. Aircraft has left the active runway and has slowed down, passengers may use their mobile phones now."

The DGCA has directed that the new procedure may be adopted at the earliest and not later than 22 October.

Cell phone use on flights was curbed to prevent interference of signals with the planes' guiding mechanism.