It’s always been a bit of a pain that during what for a lot of people is the most stressful parts of a plane journey – the take off and landing – you haven’t been able to use your electronic distractions to get you through that minute of acceleration/deceleration and bumpiness. Now though going forward, your’e going to be able to, as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has changed the rules so as long as you have flight-mode enabled, you can do what you want.
Guidelines will be released towards the end of the month to let airlines and crew know how to deal with the new rule – how they’ll confirm everyone is using flight-mode is anyone’s guess – though we do know that the sort of devices that will be allowed now during takeoff and landing include: MP3 players, tablets, smartphones and ereaders. Laptops and bulkier electronics will still need to be stowed.
Describing the news, EASA executive director, Patricky Ky said: “This is a major step in the process of expanding the freedom to use personal electronic devices on-board aircraft without compromise in safety.” This essentially breaks down to, ‘thank god we don’t have to tell people too put their phones away anymore.’
In the future, the EASA plans to continue certifying aircraft to work with specific smartphones, potentially allowing people to make phone calls, text and use the internet while in the air without difficulty. However, confirming which phones are safe to use is a lengthy process, as separate flights must be made using each brand and model of handset before it can be given the all clear.
KitGuru Says: Part of me hopes they don’t get to a stage that allows calls on planes. It’s annoying enough sitting that close to someone you don’t know, let alone them yammering away to someone.