Air New Zealand customers are now able to have limited use of cell phones in-flight following an exemption granted by the NZ Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) relating to the use of electronic devices in-flight.Under this new policy, passengers will be able to use portable electronic devices, and those mobile phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) which can be set to a non-transmitting flight mode.
Passengers will not be able to send and receive phone calls or emailed messages but will be able to compose email messages and use other functions enabled by the device with the transmitting component deactivated.
General Manager Operational Standards & Safety, Captain David Morgan said the CAA still strictly prohibits phone calls and any other transmitting functions as these may interfere with the navigation systems of the aircraft.
“Therefore all electronic devices and transmitting functions on these must be switched off or activated to an in-flight mode if capable, once the aircraft door is closed. The changes which allow the use of a mobile phone or PDA if in flight mode, apply only when announced by cabin crew - that is, after take-off once the seat belt sign has been extinguished and prior to the aircraft landing.”
“Any mobile phone or other device that is capable of sending or receiving calls or sms/text messages without this deactivating (flight mode) setting must still remain completely switched off for the duration of the flight,” said Captain Morgan.
Air New Zealand recommends that customers check their cellular and PDA devices for “flight mode” capability prior to travel and are familiar with how to activate this setting.