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Mexico eases ban on using cell phones on planes

Mexico eased a ban on using cell phones on airplanes, though officials said restrictions will remain in place.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Mexico eased a ban on using cell phones on airplanes, though officials said restrictions will remain in place.

Mexico's Communications and Transportation Department announced it was lifting the eight-year-old ban Tuesday, saying improved technology makes it possible to use cell phones and other electronic equipment during some flight phases without interfering with navigation systems. Officials did not say which portions of flights.

The director of aviation at the department, Gabriel Tort, later told The Associated Press that the new measure allows "conditioned" and not indiscriminate use of cell phones on flights.

He said that cell phone use will depend on whether it affects the equipment on the planes and that the captain will make the decision to announce whether they can be used during certain stages of the flight.

For example, Tort said, using cell phones could be allowed after the plane touches ground. Previously, Mexico had only allowed passengers to use phones when the plane arrived at the terminal and opened its doors.

The European Union made a decision allowing cell phone use last year. Malaysia Airlines also unveiled a service last year allowing passengers to make and receive calls on their mobile phones.

The United States still bans cell phones on flights.