Following the FAA ruling, permitting the use of portable electronic devices during all phases of flight, the European Aviation Safety Authority has announced that it too will be issuing the same guidance by the end of the month.
This will allow passengers on European airlines to use tablets, smartphones and ebook readers from gate to gate, provided that they are placed in Airplane mode at the gate.
American airlines wasted no time in implementing the FAA guidance, so here’s hoping for similar speed for those of us on the other side of the pond.
The Federal Aviation Administration has changed their regulations regarding the use of electronics during takeoff and landing. The rule change will allow airlines to determine whether a flight will permit the use of electronic devices during all stages of the flight. Activities such as reading ebooks or watching video will be allowed, though there will be some restrictions on how devices are handled, according to anFAA press release
Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled – i.e., no signal bars displayed—and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones. If your air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, you may use those services. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
Airlines hoping to implement these changes will need to prove to the FAA that their planes meet certain standards for protecting aircraft from electronic interference. Additionally, connecting to the internet is still prohibited under 10,000 feet. Additionally, the rule changes will not be implemented immediately, and their adoption will vary by airline as each company completes their safety inspections, and the current policies will remain in effect for now.