Passengers will now be able to turn-on their mobile phones as soon as the plane lands and moves from the active runway. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has amended rules to pemit the use of cellular phones except in low visibility conditions. In a press statement the regulatory body informed, "The DGCA has amended the Rule 29B of Aircraft Rules to provide for the use of the cellular phones by passengers after the aircraft has landed and cleared the active runway, except in cases when low visibility conditions exist at the airport." The new guideline will be implemented starting 22nd October.
Presently, the use of mobile phones was prohibited till the plane came to a complete halt and the boarding gates opened to ensure that there was no interference in communication signals between the aircraft cockpit and air traffic control for guidance. This is a welcome move because the use of navigation systems and electronic communication is negligible after the plane lands.The move comes after aircraft crew and passengers gave the feedback to the regulator. Passengers were eventually not abiding by the guidelines and used to switch on their phones to coordinate their pick ups, over hearing the crew's repeated announcements.