Use of in-flight electronics approved during take-off and landing by European regulator


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The Independent Online

Europe's air safety agency has approved the use of electronic devices ahead of take-off and landing, which will allow users to keep their devices switched on.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will publish guidance on the matter regarding safety testing and which devices may or may not be used during all aspects of a flight journey by the end of November.

Patrick Ky, EASA Executive Director said: “This is a major step in the process of expanding the freedom to use personal electronic devices on-board aircraft without compromising safety”.

Their approval comes after the Federal Aviation Administration ruled in October personal electronic devices could be used at any point in the flight.

In their ruling, they said: "The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta today announced that the FAA has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance."

As part of the ruling, mobile phones could also stay on, but they would still need to be in 'airplane mode' or with their cellular devices disabled. Bigger electronic devices such as laptops will still have to be stowed away during taking off and landing.

The new ruling, applicable to aircrafts operated by European airlines, could come in effect by December, but the recommendations will only be approved on an airline by airline basis by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Any UK airline hoping to allow the use of electronic devices during take-off and landing will be required to present their 'safety case' to the CAA, The Guardian have reported.

A CAA spokesperson told the newspaper: “We will have to wait and see what the nature of the guidance will be, so it is difficult to predict an accurate timescale, but it is possible that UK airlines could be permitted to allow the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight before Christmas this year."