Straight News, Smart Views|Wednesday, July 18, 2018

CAAP OKs use of laptops, mobile phones on Philippine flights 

CAAP capiz news

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has approved the conditional use of laptops, mobile phones and other mobile devices during flights.

CAAP released on Tuesday memorandum circular 52-13, which covers the conditional use of transmitting portable electronic devices (TPED), music players, and global system for mobile communication on-board aircraft (GSMOBA) on all commercial aircrafts operating within or en-route over the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines.

“We are removing the restriction on the use of cellphones since we believe we know it does not impair the safety of flights. There’s no safety issue involved. Now the airlines will either have to comply with it or make their own adjustments as far as the restriction is concerned,” CAAP deputy director general John Andrews told ANC.

Under the memorandum, passengers will be allowed to use laptops, internet or short-message-service (SMS) or voice communications, and other broadband services while on board an aircraft.

The conditions of use are as follows:

When the aircraft doors are still open, passengers may use laptops, mobiles phones, internet or short-message-service (SMS) or voice communications, unless the Pilot-In-Command and/or Senior Cabin Crew would specifically announce on the public address system (PAS) its prohibition.

These devices must be turned off, however, when the aircraft is re-fuelling.

When the aircraft doors are closed, all devices including games on electronic devices must be on silent mode and used only for short-message-service (SMS) or internet.

Calls are not allowed when the aircraft doors are closed except the use of GSMOBA as long as its use does not interfere with the orderly conduct of flight.

The use of MP3 players will only be allowed with earphones and not with additional or separate speaker and/or amplifiers.

CAAP said the memorandum circular will take effect 15 days after compliance with the single publication in a newspaper of general circulation and a copy filed with the UP Law Center-Office of the Administrative Register in UP, Diliman, Quezon City.

Airlines will have final say

However, Andrews said the airlines will still have final say on whether gadgets and mobile phones will be allowed on flights.

“We do not expect the airlines to immediately comply with this because they will have to change some of their announcements… But it is up to the airlines whether they conform with the lifting of the restriction,” he said.

Andrews clarified that airline passengers may not use their phones for voice calls.

“We are not allowing use of mobile phones for talking, only for SMS. Phones must be on silent mode. Imagine if 100 passengers use their phones and talk at the same time,” he said. –

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