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Chinese Passengers Could Soon Use Electronic Devices While Flying

© REUTERS / Kim Kyung-HoonAn Air China plane flies to Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China (File)
An Air China plane flies to Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China (File) - Sputnik International
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On Monday, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced amendments to aviation regulations to be implemented by the end of 2019 that would allow individual airlines to decide whether or not to allow use of portable electronic devices - currently banned - on planes.

"I believe that in the near future, you will see China's airline companies allowing the use of relevant portable electronic devices," Zhu Tao, deputy director of the CAAC, told reporters, according to the South China Morning Post.

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"This is a welcome step to improve the competitiveness of Chinese airlines, both against international carriers and domestically against high-speed rail," Will Horton, a Hong Kong-based analyst at the Centre for Aviation, said.

Many airlines, such as Hong Kong's flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, already allow people to use electronic devices, like smartphones and tablets, while flying.

Other people also expressed their agreement on the future change.

A Beijing-based pilot posted on Weibo — the Chinese equivalent of Twitter — that China's airlines "should have kept up with the times long ago," while another Weibo user expressed excitement, writing, "This is really just too great."

In 2013, the European Union and the US aviation regulatory bodies changed their policies to allow electronic devices to be used on flights.

Airlines in the US can decide on their own portable electronic device policies and all the country's major carriers allow at least some usage of electronic devices while flying.

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