New Delhi, the 21st February, 2020

G.S.R. 142(E).—Whereas, the draft of certain rules further to amend the Aircraft Rules, 1937, was published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, as required by section 14 of the Aircraft Act, 1934 (22 of 1934), vide notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, number G.S.R. 585(E), dated the 14th August, 2019, inviting objections and suggestions from all persons likely to be affected thereby, before the expiry of a period of thirty days from the date on which copies of the Gazette of India in which the said notification was published were made available to public;

And whereas, copies of the Gazette containing the said notification were made available to the public on the 21st August, 2019;

And whereas, no objections or suggestions have been received from the public in respect of the draft rules within the period specified in the said notification;

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 5 of the Aircraft Act, 1934 (22 of 1934) the Central Government hereby makes the following rules further to amend the Aircraft Rules, 1937, namely: —

1. Short title and commencement.─ (1) These rules may be called the Aircraft (Second Amendment) Rules, 2020.

(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.

2. In the Aircraft Rules, 1937, for rule 29B, the following rule shall be substituted, namely:—

“29B. Prohibition on the use of portable electronic devices.─ (1) No person shall operate, nor shall the operator or the pilot-in-command of an aircraft allow the operation of any portable electronic device on board an aircraft in flight:

Provided that the Pilot-in-Command may permit use of cellular telephone by the passengers of a flight after the aircraft has landed and cleared active runway, except when the landing takes place in low visibility conditions as may be determined by the Director-General from time to time.

(2) The provisions of sub-rule (1) shall not apply to portable voice recorders, hearing aids, heart pacemaker, electric shavers or other portable electronic devices which, in the opinion of the operator, do not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft on which it is to be operated and for which such operator has obtained the approval of the Director-General.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rule (1), the Pilot-in-Command may permit the access of internet services by passengers on board an aircraft in flight, through Wii-Fi on board, when laptop, smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, e-reader or a point of sale device is used in flight mode or airplane mode:

Provided that the Director-General shall certify the aircraft for usage of internet service in flight through Wi-Fi on board subject to the procedures as specified in this behalf.

Explanation. ─ For the purposes of this rule, an aircraft shall be deemed to be in flight when all its external doors are closed following embarkation until the moment when any such door is opened for disembarkation.”.

[F. No. AV. 11012/103/2015-A]

Note: The principal rules were published in the Gazette of India, vide notification number V-26, dated the 23rd March, 1937 and last amended vide G.S.R. 22(E), dated the 7th January, 2020 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-Section (i) dated the 13th January, 2020.

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