September 29, 2014
EASA allows electronic devices to remain On and Connected throughout the flight
EASA allows European airlines to permit use of mobile phones following the aircraft landing. Airlines can also allow the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) throughout the flight, after a safety assessment process. As a result, passengers will be able to use their PEDs just like in any other mode of transport: throughout the trip. The new guidance allows airlines to permit PEDs to stay switched on, without the need to be in ‘Airplane Mode’. This is the latest regulatory step towards enabling the ability to offer ‘gate-to-gate’ telecommunication or WiFi services. PEDs include any kind of electronic device brought on board the aircraft by a passenger such as smartphone, tablet, laptop, e-reader, MP3 player, etc. It is up to each airline to decide to allow the use of PEDs. In order to do this, the airline will have to go through an assessment process, ensuring aircraft systems are not affected in any way by the transmission signals from the PEDs. For this reason, there may be differences among airlines whether and when PEDs can be used. Passengers must at all times follow the airline crew instructions. Safety always comes first onboard of an aircraft. This measure follows the initial action from EASA in December 2013, toward permitting the use of PEDs through almost all stages of flight, when the ‘Airplane Mode’ not transmitting was allowed.