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More phone use allowed on planes as CAAS eases regulation

Now, you can have more use of your phones and other portable electronic devices on Singapore carriers' flights.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced yesterday (July 11) that it has amended its regulations to allow Singapore carriers to expand passenger use of portable electronic devices (PEDs), such as tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and mp3 players, on flights. 

The amendments are in line with recent regulatory changes made by leading aviation authorities, said the CAAS. 

Singapore carriers have to  ensure that the aircraft meet the certification requirements and conduct the necessary safety risk assessments to verify that the use of PEDs does not interfere with the performance of the aircraft navigation or communication systems.

However, voice communications using mobile phones will still be strictly prohibited from the time the aircraft leaves the departure gate until the time before it exits the runway upon landing. 

"This is because voice communications, requiring strong signals to be sent out for receipt at great distances, may interfere with the aircraft systems," said the CAAS. 

Mr Tan Pee Teck, a senior vice president at Singapore Airlines, said: "Singapore Airlines welcomes the move by CAAS to permit the expanded use of PEDs on flights.  

"More and more of our customers are now travelling with PEDs and we are pleased to have implemented this for the benefit of our customers.  Safety of course remains our top priority, and cabin crew will ensure that travellers are advised on the safe use of PEDs in accordance with the appropriate guidelines."

Mr Yap Ong Heng, director-general of CAAS said: "We note that all the Singapore carriers have welcomed this move, and many are already taking steps to ascertain that there would be no interference to flight operations before they proceed with implementation," 

The new regulations took effect on May 31 but implementation time for the different carriers may vary.

Source: CAAS