You may soon be able to use your mobile phone while flying

Airlines have historically required passengers to switch off cellphones and any electronic device during takeoff and landing.

It has now emerged that switching a mobile phone on or off, or putting it in "flight mode", has no impact.

Last year, the Civil Aviation Authority issued a statement saying airlines would be able to make their own decisions in this regard as of 2019.

But the CAA has not yet issued a directive, and some airlines are still strictly enforcing the old regulations.

SA Flyer Magazine editor Guy Leitch explains the situation.

My understanding of the situation at the moment is that the minister of transport, Blade Nzimande hasn't signed the new regulations or technical standards into force.

Guy Leitch, Editor - SA Flyer Magazine

This is why some of the airlines are saying we will go ahead and relax it while others are saying we are going to wait for it to be signed.

Guy Leitch, Editor - SA Flyer Magazine

There is really no measurable threat at this stage. No aircraft has crashed and no pilot has suddenly had to fight for the control of the aircraft.

Guy Leitch, Editor - SA Flyer Magazine

Leitch says South Africa is lagging behind other airlines across the globe who are already allowing passengers to make use of cellphones on in flight.

Within the next five years, airlines would likely have WiFi on board, he adds.

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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