Canadians will soon have gate-to-gate smartphone and tablet access on flights

In a press release today, Canada’s Transport Minister, Lisa Raitt, said that “gate-to-gate” electronics use, including smartphones, tablets and e-readers, will soon be possible on flights operated by Canadian airlines.

After US and European regulators eased the ban on device use last year during taxi, takeoff and landing periods, Canadians were left wondering when Ottawa would follow suit.

Smartphone and tablet users will only have full transmitting allowance during taxi, and will need to be switched to Airplane Mode for takeoff and landing. Other devices, like cameras, portable gaming systems, and laptops, can be used during any phase of the flight as long as they are not transmitting, and “that their airline has met certain safety conditions outlined by Transport Canada.”

“This is great news for air passengers, and an exciting day for the Canadian aviation industry,” said the Transport Minister in a statement. “By collaborating with our aviation partners, we are able to offer airlines the tools they need to safely enable passengers to use portable electronic devices on airplanes, while still maintaining the highest standards of aviation safety.” Canada’s rules appear to be slightly more restrictive than that of their US counterpart, as the transport body is still concerned “[devices] have the potential to interfere with aircraft’s navigation and communication systems.”

This change will go into effect shortly, though some operators will flip the proverbial switch sooner than others.

[source]Government of Canada[/source]