Qantas announced this morning that customers can now use their smart phones, tablets and music players during take-off and landing without having to switch off, providing uninterrupted access to work and entertainment.

Qantas was approved to revise its personal electronic device policy by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority yesterday following new guidance on the safe use of personal electronic devices inflight.

Until yesterday, devices in Australia were required to remain off until the seatbelt sign turned off, meaning passengers were unable to use them while the aircraft was taxiing to the runway or through much of the climb or descent.

Qantas Domestic chief executive officer Lyell Strambi said the introduction of gate-to-gate electronic access was an exciting development in customer experience for the airline.

“We’re delighted to give Qantas customers the freedom and flexibility to use their personal electronic devices from the moment they board the plane until they disembark.

“Qantas has conducted rigorous testing to assess the impacts of electronic devices on the safe operation of aircraft. We are confident that these devices are safe to be turned on, but in flight mode, for the duration of each flight.”

Qantas plans to lift restrictions on electronic devices across the entire Qantas Group for regional, domestic and international flights. QantasLink and Jetstar are in the final stages of preparing their submission to CASA for the extended use of personal electronic devices.

Advice for customers:

– Devices can be used whether passengers are boarding via aerobridge or transiting across tarmac.

– Once aircraft doors are closed for departure, devices will need to be in ‘flight mode’.

– Customers are required to secure handheld devices by holding them or placing them in a seat pocket during taxi, take-off and landing. Larger items such as laptops will still need to be stowed.

– Customers are still required to listen to all inflight safety briefings and comply with cabin crew instructions.

– Mobile and smart phones will still not be able to be used to make calls or send texts from the air.

The new policy will apply to all Qantas Domestic and Qantas International flights from 3:00pm today.