Air NZ poised to introduce in-flight texts
By Beck Vass
4:00 AM Thursday May 27, 2010

Passengers flying on Air New Zealand's new 777-300 aircraft, which begin arriving this November, may be able to send text messages and emails.

But the airline must first convince the Civil Aviation Authority that the move is safe before an exemption is granted to a rule which prohibits the use of portable electronic devices on flights.

Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Bill Sommer said the exemption would be similar to one already in place which allows the use of phones after takeoff and before landing when set to "flight mode".

The process is being worked through by the airline and the authority and is expected to be completed by the time the first aircraft arrives in November.

Voice call services will be disabled by the technology because of the disturbance phone calls could make to other passengers.

Passengers will also be asked to ensure their phones are placed on "silent" mode.

More here.