Allowing Qantas and Virgin domestic passengers to use electronic devices from gate to gate will deliver an improved experience for travellers, according to peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
TTF Acting Chief Executive Officer Trent Zimmerman said this is a sensible measure.
“Airline passengers can now make full use of their time on board a flight, whether for business or pleasure,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Passengers can now listen to music on their smartphone, read a book on their e-reader, watch a movie on their iPad or work on their laptop from the moment they sit down until the moment they arrive at their destination.
“This means people can use their time productively for the entire journey, delivering more amenity and an improved passenger experience.
“Allowing passengers to use electronic devices from gate to gate brings Australia into line with existing practices in other countries.”
However, Mr Zimmerman questioned the time taken for this reform to be implemented.
“Passengers in Europe, the US and New Zealand have been able to use electronic devices in this way for some time,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Given that other countries have already assessed the practice as safe, why has the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) taken so long to get up to speed?
“We see this as an example where CASA could follow the lead of other international agencies with a similar commitment to air safety standards as Australia and move more quickly to introduce reforms that improve the passenger experience.
“This should include expediting approval for QantasLink and Jetstar, given that approval has already been granted to their parent company.”