The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) intends to relax its restrictions on the use of mobile devices during flights. According to the South China Morning Post, airlines will be able to individually decide their own usage and safety policies.
Although the decision has been taken, the date on which these new policies are expected to enter into force has not yet been defined. Airline standards for the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) for passengers will still need to pass CAAC’s approval.
The regulator still highlights being supportive of the use of mobile devices during flights. “I believe that, in the near future, Chinese companies will allow the use of relevant electronic devices,” said CAAC deputy director Zhu Tao.
The policy change is susceptible to a notable improvement, which will allow passengers to even connect to wi-fi networks – if the company has the service – directly from the smartphone, rather than needing a tablet or notebook.
So far, the CAAC regulation prohibits the use of smartphones during flights – with the risk of detention if the requirement is breached by the passenger. Only notebooks and tablets are allowed, however use must be made outside the time of takeoff and disembarkation. The news appeals to many passengers, since on domestic or short-haul flights, aircraft often lack entertainment equipment.