The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) this week granted permission for passengers on the airlines to have gate-to-gate, uninterrupted access to their mobile devices.
Some restrictions remain however:
- Passengers must switch their devices to flight mode when the doors have been closed for take-off and until the plane has landed.
- Larger devices weighing over 1kg (laptops) remain restricted and must be stowed during take-off and landings.
The announcement may make in-flight mobile access a step closer after Telstra announced earlier this year it was testing 4G access for passengers between Sydney and Melbourne.
The airlines and CASA stress it is still important to pay attention to the safety videos before take-off and it is unclear whether any headphone restrictions will be introduced.
QantasLink and some Virgin Australia routes still have the power-off restriction due to the CASA permission only being granted to certain aircraft at this time.
Other airlines, including Jetstar, are expected to follow Qantas and Virgin's lead by lifting the restriction over the coming weeks and months.