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India’s DGCA permits use of cell phones on-board flights

Following the example set by fellow aviation regulators the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), India’s civil aviation regulator, The Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) has amended its CAR (Civil Aviation Requirement) Section 5 Series X Part I permitting the usage of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) including cellular telephones.

During a meeting with the DGCA a week ago on April 17, Indian airlines had raised a demand for allowing usage of PEDs during all phases of flight in the flight/airplane mode.

The new rules require all the PEDs, especially cell phones, to be used only in the non-transmitting mode commonly called flight or airplane mode. The amended CAR also directs all operators to report any suspected or confirmed PED interference or smoke or fire caused by PEDs to the DGCA.

The CAR also lays down revised guidelines for crew training.

This issue has come up since many passengers filmed the holi celebrations performance on-board some SpiceJet flights about a month ago. At the same time, national carrier Air India hit this “no device usage” wall when exploring on-board Wi-Fi with service provider OnAir.

It is nice to see the DGCA taking this progressive action. Lets hope some passengers do not stretch this relaxation and try to make calls on board.

Hat-tip to our reader Girish for the heads-up.

About Devesh Agarwal

A global frequent flyer with over 20 years and four million air miles, he combines his knowledge, experience, skills and passion in aviation, product management, branding, social media, logistics and marketing on Bangalore Aviation. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter. A product management expert he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010.
  • Xing Honey

    This might cause unnecessary delay in the in-flight processes. Often air passengers are not disciplined enough to put on the Airplane mode. I guess people would like less noise on the plane though it is from a mobile game in non transmitting mode.

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