26 May saw the Federal Government of Canada officially allow the expanded use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) by travellers aboard aircraft during all phases of flight. Hot on the heels of the announcement, Air Canada, Air Canada rouge and its Air Canada Express regional partners are finalising measures to safely implement the new procedures so customers can enjoy greater use of their PEDs in non-transmitting mode during flight.
The changes do not permit the use of transmitting functions once the aircraft is in motion prior to take-off, meaning customers aboard aircraft will not be able to make cellular phone calls or otherwise send and receive wireless signals from outside the aircraft. Current safety restrictions on customers using headphones or earbuds not connected to the aircraft’s IFE system will also remain in effect.
“Air Canada welcomes today’s announcement expanding the use of PEDs on aircraft because it will enhance the travel experience. Our customers have been telling us they want the option to use their PEDs at all times on board our aircraft both for working and entertainment. Moreover, this change will bring our policies in line with those of other jurisdictions for use of PEDs on aircraft, eliminating uncertainty for customers. We appreciate Transport Canada’s support of our efforts to implement these new rules safely and quickly,” said Craig Landry, VP of marketing at Air Canada. “This policy will complement our recent announcement that this month we have begun rolling out in-flight wi-fi connectivity across our North American fleet, the first Canadian carrier to do so. We anticipate 29 aircraft will be offering in-flight connectivity by yearend, with 130 narrow-body aircraft to be equipped to provide connectivity by the end of 2015.”