May 26, 2014

By Michael Kramer

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Canadian air passengers are getting the go-ahead to use their electronic devices from the time they board – until their aircraft lands.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt has announced new rules that are expected to be implemented shortly.

The U.S. changed it’s regulations last October. The F.A.A. has determined that portable gadgets, from cameras to tablets to electronic games – are safe to use during all phases of flight.

Raitt says Canadian airlines knew the rules were changing and can immediately apply to implement the policy chage. 

U.S. airlines had to prove planes could tolerate radio interference from portable e-devices. 

The American policy came after a formal review panel urged the F.A.A. to update it’s policy.

The panel concluded that most commercial planes can tolerate radio interference signals from portable electronic devices and once an airline verifies the fleet can handle these signals, the carrier can allow passengers to use hand-held devices at all altitudes.

Passengers still have to make sure their devices are not sending or receiving data.

Airlines are also taking steps to give passengers wi-fi access by year’s end.

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