Following the US FAA decision to let customers user electronic devices during “all phases of flight” last year, Canada’s Transport Minister has also ruled that Canadian airlines will soon allow the same unrestricted access for their clientele.
Calling the access unrestricted isn’t quite accurate, because all smartphones and cellular-enabled tablets will still need to be set in airplane mode during take-off (while also making sure you are at least pretending to pay attention to the safety demonstration) and landing. Every airline is responsible for making sure that their aircraft will not be affected by any of these devices and Canadian airlines, Air Canada and WestJet, have already responded saying that they are gearing up to implement these new regulations. Air Canada has also promised to roll out in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity.
These changes to the regulations make sense to me –I have often felt that if the cellular phone in my pocket had the power to mess with an aircraft to the point that the electronics were disrupted putting the people on board in danger, it would be a little ridiculous that they allow those devices on board at all.