Qantas and Virgin Australia had applied for permission to allow passengers to use electronic devices during take-off and landing on flights within Australia last month.
Under current rules, passengers are told to switch off their smartphones, tablets and e-readers before their plane takes off. The devices can then be used during the cruising part of the flight but must be switched off again before landing.
CASA spokesperson Peter Gibson said Virgin and Qantas lodged applications for the lifting of the ban last month. It should be noted that CASA had no specific ruling on the use of electronic devices, the issue is covered by regulatons requiring operators to ‘ensure safety is maintained at all times and passengers comply with the safety instructions given by crew members,’ implying that a simple script change is all it took?
In November last year we reported that the US aviation authority, the FAA had lifted the retarded rule that’s barred the use of electronic devices during taxi, take-offs and landings had been in place for more than half a century. The initial change in the US didn’t include mobile phones
The ban is expected to be lifted for flights this afternoon according to QANTAS “Qantas customers will be able to use their personal electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets and music players in flight mode, for the duration of each flight, providing uninterrupted access to work and entertainment.
Qantas was approved to revise its personal electronic device policy by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority today following new guidance on the safe use of personal electronic devices inflight,” the airline said ::::
Airline operators say the Civil Aviation Safety Authority – CASA – has granted permission for travelers to keep their mobile devices switched on – in flight mode – for the whole journey.
“The airlines need to demonstrate to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority that they’ve assessed their aircraft [to be] safe from electromagnetic interference,” Mr Gibson said. “They also need to have in place all of the relevant cabin safety procedures, crew training, new briefings for passengers and [then] we just assess all of that to make sure it’s suitable.”
Mr Gibson said airlines in the United States introduced the change a year ago.
Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Officer Lyell Strambi said the new changes were an exciting development in customer experience for the airline.
“We’re delighted to give Qantas customers the freedom and flexibility to use their personal electronic devices from the moment they board the plane until they disembark,” Mr Strambi said. “Whether customers choose to listen to music, read their e-books or review work documents the introduction of gate-to-gate electronic access on Qantas flights is an exciting development to an already exceptional inflight entertainment service.”
“Qantas has conducted rigorous testing to assess the impacts of electronic devices on the safe operation of aircraft. We are confident that these devices are safe to be turned on, but in flight mode, for the duration of each flight,” Mr Strambi said.
The airline issued the following advice for customers:
- Devices can be used whether passengers are boarding via aerobridge or transiting across tarmac.
- Once aircraft doors are closed for departure, devices will need to be in ‘flight mode’.
- Customers are required to secure handheld devices by holding them or placing them in a seat pocket during taxi, take-off and landing. Larger items such as laptops will still need to be stowed.
- Customers are still required to listen to all inflight safety briefings and comply with cabin crew instructions.
- Mobile and smart phones will still not be able to be used to make calls or send texts from the air.
- Qantas plans to lift restrictions on electronic devices across the entire Qantas Group for regional, domestic and international flights.
- QantasLink and Jetstar are in the final stages of preparing their submission to CASA for the extended use of personal electronic devices.
The changes to CASA’s ruling on personal electronic devices inflight follows an announcement by the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration – FAA – in October last year that it would allow passengers to leave their electronic devices on through all phases of flight if individual airlines could prove that it did not interfere with the operation of the aircraft.
Experts from airlines, aircraft manufacturers, passenger groups, pilot associations, flight attendants, and mobile services have since been investigating the impact of personal electronic devices inflight.
Until today, devices in Australia were required to remain off until the seatbelt sign turned off, meaning passengers were unable to use them while the aircraft was taxiing to the runway or through much of the climb or descent.
In addition, Qantas is working towards enabling customers to use their own devices to access 350 hours of on-demand entertainment from gate to gate on selected Domestic and International aircraft. Initially this functionality would encompass Apple devices including iPads and iPhones, followed by laptops and Android devices at a later stage.
Customers would only need to download a Q Streaming app to their device, or connect via their browser to the Q Streaming Inflight Entertainment network to access movies, TV shows and music. Qantas will continue to offer complimentary tablets for customers to access Q Streaming on a number of aircraft types.
The new policy will apply to all Qantas Domestic and Qantas International flights from 3:00 pm today.
US Aviation Authority Ends Ban on use of Electronic Devices
The US Federal Aviation Administration ended a long-standing ban on using portable electronic devices on domestic services late last year. Passengers are now able to use smart phones and tablets in airplane mode to play games and read downloaded materials like e-books and calendars during all phases of flight, including takeoff and landing.
Passengers are also allowed to connect with an airline’s Wi-Fi network and use bluetooth accessories like wireless mouse and headphones.
“Most commercial airlines can tolerate radio interference from portable electronic devices,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said at a news conference at Reagan National Airport near Washington, DC. “It’s safe to read downloaded materials, like e-books, calendars and to play games.”
However, talking on the phone in-flight is still banned. The US aviation authority also says the new electronic devices policy will not apply in conditions of extremely low visibility when crews will give special instructions. The new rule applies to the vast majority of US airlines flying domestically and internationally.
Delta Air Lines and JetBlue quickly filed plans with the FAA to show that their aircraft can tolerate radio signals from electronic devices, a condition required by the regulator.
Mr Huerta said he sought updated guidance on the matter, since the current policy was put in place about 50 years ago.
In November last year Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority said it was unlikely to stand in the way if airlines make the decision to lift the ban on the use of electronic devices or phones during flight. A spokesman for CASA said there are no laws banning phone use on planes in Australia, but local airlines have always adopted international policies.
He says that if airlines were to change their policy, “it would be hard for the Australian authority to object”.
In a statement last year, Qantas said the US aviation authority’s decision was “interesting” it would review the change in regulations.
Move Praised by Industry Groups and Techies
Technology fans have recently decried the “high cost to the traveling public” of passengers not having unfettered access to their mobile devices.
“More than 105 million hours of disrupted technological activity on domestic flights is projected in 2013 – an estimated 104 per cent increase since 2010 – due to the FAA ban on the use of devices during takeoffs and landings,” according to a May 2013 study by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitcan Development at Chicago’s DePaul University.
Among those giving input to the FAA for the long-awaited decision were representatives of airlines, plane manufacturers, passengers, flight attendants and the mobile technology industry.
A backer of the change, the Consumer Electronics Association urged the agency to ease restrictions, it said the FAA’s move “would bring policy on in-flight use of devices up to speed with the 21st century”.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA applauded the decision as it pushed for “uniform technical, operational, and training standards that will allow for the safe, managed expansion of [person electronic device] usage by passengers.”
The US Travel Association, an industry group, praised the move as a “common-sense, win-win” policy.
EU Lifts Ban on Mobile Devices
Airplane passengers in the European Union will soon be allowed to use their smartphones and other electronic devices during all phases of flight, including take-off and landing.
The move follows a similar relaxation of restrictions by the United States, where passengers are now also able to play games and read downloaded materials, like e-books.
Under the new rules, electronic devices must still be switched to flight mode, and talking on a phone in-flight is still banned.
However the European Aviation Safety Agency says it will look at eventually allowing passengers to use their mobile phones to make calls while in the air.
RELATED! Travel Tips: Top Six Things That Suck About Flying
Folks, if your about to get on a plane, you need to wear a deodorant! I don’t care what you do the rest of your life, but I’m over being subjected to your body odour when your squeezed into a seat next to me on an jet.
On a recent flight I sat next to a largish woman, she was polite, friendly and doing a stellar job of looking after the small boy with her, but every time she lifted an arm I gasped for air, the problem smell would have been easily rectified, DE-freakin-ODORANT!
Thankfully my flight was only an hour – Melbourne to Sydney – however, the stench of another persons body odour left an indelible memory, and though I’ll likely never see her again, in my mind she will always bethat off-smelling passenger.
It seems I’m not alone in having stinky-folk as my number one gripe on a plane, a recent Harris Interactive poll in the US found nearly two-thirds of passengers would rather sit next to a crying baby than an odorous adult. The poll conducted in March, also found that among frequent travellers, many are looking for more personal space.
While most flyers are in agreement in not wanting to share a row with a less-than-fragrant traveller, they’re split evenly on how much they’re willing to listen to their fellow passenger gab. I seem to be right in on this trend, No Stinkers, No Babies and No Talkers :: Read the full article »»»»
REBLOG! How To Go From Tourist to Traveller
No one wants to be a tourist any more. Everyone wants to be a local. SMH Traveler Ute Junker dolls out some great advice on how to blend in. “If you really want to understand a city, you need to live in it.: Ms Junker says, “What I love most is the way I’ve become attuned to the rhythms of the neighborhood
Going local requires a commitment, and not just fixing your own breakfast or making your own bed. If you want to live local, you need to devote a decent amount of time to your chosen city. I’d recommend 10 days as a minimum. It takes you the best part of a week to settle into the rhythm, to become a familiar face in the neighborhood.
Ms junker also has some concise tips on securing an apartment – the essential ingredient in a tranquil fitting-in – know your neighborhood, Reputable companies should supply plenty of information about the neighborhood on their website :: Read Ms Junkers Full SMH Article »»»»
RELATED! Travel Virgins
Mind The Gap: Your last year of high school now fading in the rear-vision mirror, the nightmare wait for results is over, no-more soggy school lunches and uniforms never again. Perhaps you’re thinking of spreading your newly found wings, heading offshore, and what’s not to like about a few months or even an entire year on the road?
Travelling well is a skill and it doesn’t necessarily come packaged in your DNA. Lesson one is do your homework. Know before you go and you’ll magnify your chances of coming back enriched, inspired and safe.
SMH Traveler has a wonderfilled primer to set young virgin wheels in motion. The post is full of great advice as well as some überuseful links :: Read the full SMH Travel article »»»»
RELATED! iPads at the Ready! US Airline Travellers Allowed to Use Mobile Devices for Entire Flight
The retarded rule thats barred the use of electronic devices during taxi, take-offs and landings has been in place for more than half a century. The new, more relaxed guidelines are the result of a review by the US Federal Aviation Authority.
The review – take note CASA! less than a year from review to implementation – was setup last year and included input from flight crew, passengers, aviation experts and mobile device makers.
The review found – shock horror – that commercial airplanes are able to tolerate radio interference from portable electronic device.
The change doesn’t apply to phones, the FAA said it hadn’t considered changing the rules for voice calls because they fall under the jurisdiction of another authority and also differ from other devices because of signal strength :: Read the full article »»»»
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