European flyers will now gain the ability to use their mobile devices in-flight, much like those in the United Sates. The European Aviation safety Agency (EASA) has ruled that all flights within Europe can now operate electronic devices during all phases of flight. The rules for international flights remains the same as we know them.
EASA Executive Director Patrick 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.” The EASA also noted they were exploring ways to “certify the use of mobile phones on-board aircraft to make phone calls”, much like the recent GoGo service we told you about last week.
Though the EASA still advises flyers use their devices in Airplane Mode, this is still a welcome change for a stodgy old rule. With little to do but fret, some nervous flyers will find the distraction necessary. The rest of us will see it as welcome — those headrest TVs almost never have anything good on!
The change is believed to take place by the end of November, and should “extend to all phases of flight the possibility to use personal electronic devices (PED) such as tablets, smartphones, e-readers and mp3 players.” It’s also subject to change from airline to airline, so don’t consider its blanket rule. The EASA also notes that larger items, like laptops, will need to be stored during takeoff and landing.