Switched-on mobile phones permitted on flights

By Steven Hawthorn on 29/09/14

It appears airplane mode on mobile phones could be a thing of the past after airlines can now permit passengers to keep their electronic devices switched-on. 

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued new guidance to European airlines, which allows phones and tablets to be kept switched-on throughout flights, even without airplane mode. 

On Friday, the agency said: “This is the latest regulatory step towards enabling the ability to offer ‘gate-to-gate’ telecommunication or WiFi services.”

The rules have been relaxed for electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets and MP3 players. 

In 2013, EASA relaxed rules on electronic devices being kept switched-on, so long as WiFi, cellular, Bluetooth and radios were disabled during a flight. 

The new rules may mean passengers get full reign of their mobiles during a journey, however each carrier has to go through an assessment to ensure the aircraft is not being affected by transmissions coming from passengers’ devices. 

The EASA added: “Because it is a decision of each airline, you may experience differences among airlines whether and when PEDs can be used. In addition, you may experience differences within one airline depending on the aircraft type.”

Under the new policy, passengers will be able to text and talk on the phone; however flight attendants are still permitted to tell them to turn them off. 

Source: The Register 

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