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Keep your PEDs on during take-off and landing: Transportation minister

You no longer have to shut down your electronic devices during take-off and landing on Canadian flights, thanks to a change announced Monday by the federal ministry of transportation.

You do, however, still have to keep all devices in non-transmission or "airplane" mode, that includes gaming devices, tablets, cell phones and other personal electronic devices.

Minister Lisa Raitt made the announcement, saying Canada fell behind the United States and the European Union because they wanted to work with the airlines to decide how the change would be implemented before making the announcement.

She said they also had to investigate any security concerns and potential benefits.

"Here you are trying to finish a memo or you're trying to finish reading a document, or you have your child next to you who's playing on their Nintendo DS or on a tablet, now you have productivity time and you have the freedom to choose," she said, reminding everyone that while you can draft a memo you still can't send it until the plane is at the terminal.

The onus is on airlines to implement the changes and Derek Vanstone, Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Air Canada, said they expect to roll out the change in days.

"What it'll be is a change to the announcements that are made sort of just before take-off and an announcement that's made just before descent where people will be reminded they are allowed to use their personal electronic devices but they do have to be in the airplane mode," he said.

Until the changes come in to effect Vanstone recommends people listen carefully to the flight attendants' announcements to make sure they know what the rules are.

It's something he says both Air Canada staff and passengers have been seeking and they're "thrilled" at the announcement.

All airlines have to run safety checks and provide Transport Canada with their updated manuals before they're approved to make the change.

Enforcement is also completely up to the airlines' flight attendants.

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