Europe Announces Plans to Permit Gadget Use During Flight

Just two weeks ago, the UK Civil Aviation Authority said it would be 'months rather than weeks' before UK passengers could play with their phone or tablet during take off and landing. However, it seems policy change might come sooner than we thought. Europe's aviation safety agency has promised to publish guidance on the use of personal electronic devices during all phases of flight by the end of November.

The use of electronic devices during flight was just approved in the United States, but earlier this month, the CAA said that similar policy change would take longer because it's not just the UK's rules under consideration. Instead, the European Aviation Safety Agency needs to ensure European Airlines are bound by the same regulations in order to avoid confusion for passengers flying in Europe.

Speaking in a statement released today, the EASA called the publication of this guidance a "major step" in the process of expanding the freedom to use personal electronic devices on-board aircraft. That said, ultimately, it will be up to individual airlines to assess whether passengers are allowed to use personal electronics (in 'Flight Mode') during all phases of flight.

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  • slomo4sho
    How hard is it to dedicate a unique band for aircraft communications only?
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  • frogr
    The concern was intermodulation, which can occur when two signals of different frequencies are combined in a circuit that is not completely linear, I.e. has some distortion. This causes new frequencies to be generated which could interfere with communication or navigation. Experience and testing apparently showed that it was not a problem.
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  • SchizoFrog
    With dozens of people using phones, mp3 players and other devices during take off and landings (most people just say OK when asked to turn them off, wait for the attendant to move on and then go straight back to doing what they were doing) this all seems like a silly argument as they has been no evidence at all of anything actually effecting anything to do with the control of the aircraft.
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