CAAP Permits Use of Mobile Devices Inflight

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines or CAAP is ushering some great changes in the way people fly starting this January 2014. The newly-signed Memorandum Circular 52-13, Series of 2013, signed by CAAP Director General William K. Hotchkins III now allows passengers to use mobile communication devices inflight provided the aircraft is operating within or en route over the territorial jurisdiction of the country.

Included in the memorandum are conditions for the proper use of laptops, cellular phones, music players or MP3s, and global system for mobile communication on-board aircraft (GSMOBA).

  • When the aircraft doors are still open. Use of laptops and cellular phones may be used, Internet or short-message-service (SMS) or voice communications, unless the pilot-in-command and/or senior cabin crew specifically announces on the public address system its prohibition. In no case shall laptop using broadband communications and cellular phone be allowed or used when the aircraft is re-fuelling. In this instance, all transmitting portable electronic devices must be turned off.
  • When the aircraft doors are closed. Transmitting portable electronics devices on silent mode may be used only for short-message-service (SMS) or Internet. Voice communications are not allowed except the use of GSMOBA provided its use does not interfere with the orderly conduct of flight. Games on electronic devices on silent mode may be played.
  • The use of MP3s should always be with earphones and not with additional or separate speaker and/or amplifiers.

Restricting the use of mobile phones while inflight was not allowed previously because of the concerns that the signal could impede the communication facilities of the aircraft. However, it was found out in recent studies that cellphone signal does not affect the aircraft’s communication facilities.

Source 1, Source 2

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