The Harper government to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices during all phases of flight

OTTAWA, May 26, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced an important change that will benefit travellers flying with Canadian air operators, as well as the aviation industry. Passengers will soon be able to use portable electronic devices such as cameras, electronic games, tablets and computers during all phases of flight. This includes while an aircraft takes off, climbs, descends and lands, provided the device is in non-transmitting, or flight mode, and that their airline has met certain safety conditions outlined by Transport Canada.

Previously, passengers could not use their devices at their leisure during take off and landing. This change, which is made possible through an exemption to the Canadian Aviation Regulations, means that passengers will soon be able to work or play whenever they please on flights in Canada. It strikes the appropriate balance between safety and passenger comfort that Transport Canada and airlines always strive to achieve. The use of electronic devices on any flight will be at the discretion of the air operators, who must demonstrate that their aircraft are not affected by the use of the devices and that during critical phases of flight and during emergencies, all passengers are aware of and able to follow crew instructions.

Quick Facts

  • Canada has an aviation safety record that remains one of the best in the world.
  • Passengers will soon be in a position to use portable electronic devices such as cameras, electronic games, tablets and computers during all phases of flights, provided their airline has met certain safety conditions.
  • As always, passengers who use transmitting portable electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones or e-readers, will need to ensure they are in a non-transmitting or flight mode before using them on an aircraft.

Quote

  • "This is great news for air passengers, and an exciting day for the Canadian aviation industry. By collaborating with our aviation partners, we are able to offer airlines the tools they need to safely enable passengers to use portable electronic devices on airplanes, while still maintaining the highest standards of aviation safety."

The Honourable Lisa Raitt,
Minister of Transport

Associated Links


Backgrounder

Regulations for portable electronic devices (PEDs)

Today, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, granted the authority to air operators to permit passengers to use non-transmitting portable electronic devices (PEDs) such as cameras, electronic games and computers during the critical phases of flight (when an aircraft takes off, climbs, descends or lands). Passengers have been able to use PEDs only during the non-critical phase of flight.

Before allowing passengers to use PEDs, air operators must demonstrate that a non-transmitting PED does not have any adverse effects on the operation of the aircraft or its equipment, and adjust the company operations manual, flight attendant manual, and amend its flight crew training program.

For your safety and convenience, always check with your airline to see what electronic devices are allowed and when.

Transmitting portable electronic devices (TPEDs)

Transmitting portable electronic devices (TPEDs) are only permitted, in normal mode, during the taxi-in phase.  TPEDs, such as cell phones, smart phones, or iPads, use high-frequency, short-wave radio transmitters and receivers to send or receive messages or information while in transmitting mode. TC regulations prohibit the use of devices in transmitting mode onboard an aircraft because they have the potential to interfere with aircraft's navigation and communication systems.

Transmitting devices also have different power levels and may use different frequencies, so their effects are difficult to assess, given that they are not maintained and controlled using aviation safety standards.

May 2014

SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information:

Ashley Kelahear
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Transport
613-991-0700

Jana Régimbal
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport
613-991-0700

Transport Canada
Media Relations, Ottawa
613-993-0055

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