Techies and gadget owners will soon have more freedom while they’re aboard planes. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has put into circulation a new memorandum, listing down a more lenient regulation on tablet, phone, and gadget use in flights within the country.
Previously, mobile devices may only be operated when set in offline/flight mode while on board a commercial aircraft. But as stated in the Memorandum Circular No. 52-13, passengers may now send text messages or surf the Internet. Voice communications are also allowed, but only when the aircraft doors are still open. When closed, only GSMOBA-compatible handsets can be used for making calls.
All broadband communications and cellular phones must be turned off when the aircraft is refueling. So as not to ruin the travel experience of other passengers, all gadgets must still be put in silent mode. Similarly, iPods and portable media players must be used with headphones and not with loudspeakers and/or amplifiers.
Though the old, heavy restrictions are to be lifted, it is still up to individual airline companies to comply with the lax revision. Cebu Pacific and Tigerair Philippines are reported to go along with the new policy, which is scheduled to take effect 15 days after publication.