|Phones and tablets can now stay connected throughout flight on European airlines. Photo: EASA
[Avionics Today 09-29-2014] The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has announced that it will now allow Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) to remain on and connected throughout nearly all phases of flight on commercial operations for European airlines. 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 toward enabling the ability to offer gate-to-gate telecommunication or Wi-Fi services, meaning passengers never have to unplug from their electronics.
According to the EASA, 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 a safety 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.
PEDs include any kind of electronic device brought on board the aircraft by a passenger such as smartphone, tablet, laptop, e-reader or MP3 player, among others.