CAAS Amends Rules To Allow Singapore Carriers to Expand Use of Portable Electronic Devices on Flights
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has amended its regulations to allow Singapore carriers to expand passenger use of portable electronic devices (PEDs), such as tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and mp3 players, on flights. The amendments are in line with recent regulatory changes made by leading aviation authorities.
For the additional flight segments where the use of PEDs are permitted with CAAS’ approval (see Annex), Singapore carriers have to ensure that the aircraft meet the certification requirements and conduct the necessary safety risk assessments to verify that the use of PEDs does not interfere with the performance of the aircraft navigation or communication systems. However, voice communications using mobile phones will still be strictly prohibited from the time the aircraft leaves the departure gate until the time before it exits the runway upon landing. This is because voice communications, requiring strong signals to be sent out for receipt at great distances, may interfere with the aircraft systems.
For the safe use of PEDs on flights, passengers also have a part to play. It is important that passengers pay attention to and follow the crews’ safety instructions, such as switching mobile phones to ‘flight’ or ‘airplane’ mode; stowing bulky PEDs during taxiing, take-off and landing; and even turning off the devices when necessary.
Mr Tan Pee Teck, Senior Vice President Product & Services, Singapore Airlines, added, "Singapore Airlines welcomes the move by CAAS to permit the expanded use of PEDs on flights. More and more of our customers are now travelling with PEDs and we are pleased to have implemented this for the benefit of our customers. Safety of course remains our top priority, and cabin crew will ensure that travellers are advised on the safe use of PEDs in accordance with the appropriate guidelines."
"CAAS regularly reviews its regulations taking into account the evolving needs of the travelling public and aviation industry, and technological developments. We note that all the Singapore carriers have welcomed this move, and many are already taking steps to ascertain that there would be no interference to flight operations before they proceed with implementation," said Mr Yap Ong Heng, Director-General, CAAS.
The new regulations took effect on 31 May 2014. Given differences in Singapore carriers' policies and aircraft capabilities, implementation of the expanded passenger use of PEDs on flights may vary among the airlines.
Annex: Summary of Permitted / Prohibited Use of PEDs on Flights under CAAS’ Amended Regulations