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Electronic devices can now be used on airplanes

Electronic devices can now be used on airplanes
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A recent memorandum released by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) now allows passengers to use mobile phones inside airplanes. The memorandum concerns airlines based in the Philippines.

Before you call everyone up as your plane takes off, here’s a rundown of the can and can’t-do’s:

When the airplane doors are still open

You can use your laptop, smartphone, or tablet to browse the internet, send text messages, and make or receive phone calls. Basically, you’re free to do whatever, unless the Pilot-In-Command or the Senior Cabin Crew advises otherwise.

The use of broadband/3G connection is not allowed if the aircraft is refuelling.

When the airplane doors are closed

Passengers are prohibited to make or receive voice calls–but not for any safety reasons, as CAAP deputy director general John Andrews clarifies.

“We are not allowing use of mobile phones for talking, only for SMS. Phones must be on silent mode. Imagine if 100 passengers use their phones and talk at the same time,” says Andrews in an interview with ANC.

Calls can only be made on the GSMOBA (GSM on Board), provided that it “does not interfere with the orderly conduct of flight.” (As quoted from the memorandum.)

SMS messaging, gaming, and broadband connection are allowed as long as the devices are on silent mode. Music players are allowed, as long as they are played with headphones; speakers or any other amplifiers cannot be used in flight.

Final word

Although a memorandum has been released, airline administrators still have the final word. As of this writing, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia Zest, and Tigerair are the only airlines that have announced their adoption of the memorandum. Philippine Airlines has no formal announcement about the new policies yet. 

CAAP’s Memorandum Circular 52-13 can be read here.

Words Elaine Cotoner 


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