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Airlines will now be allowed to evaluate the impact of portable electronic devices and make regulatory rules accordingly, the China Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) said, which means it will soon be possible to use mobile phones on domestic flights, Yicai.com reported.

Previously, the government had banned the use of cellphones on passenger aircraft. Zhu Tao, deputy director of the CCAA, said the government has transferred the decision-making authority directly to airlines, and the CCAA has developed an assessment system to go through the application process.

An industry insider said there are some technical requirements for using cellphones on board passenger aircraft. For example, the aircraft must pass electromagnetic compatibility tests.

So far, China Eastern Airlines has completed the electromagnetic compatibility test for all its wifi-modified aircraft. A spokesman for Spring Airlines also said it expects to see cellphone usage on its flights as early as the  first half of 2018.