The myth that using personal devices, like a mobile phone or tablet, during take off or landing affect the radios of the plane, have been widely disproved but the practice of not letting consumers use their devices in that specified time is still being strictly followed, just as a precautionary measure. But, it looks like it will be a thing of the past, as the Federal Aviation Administration in the US has expeditiously approved the use of personal devices throughout the entire period of flight with minimal restrictions so as to provide the passenger with freedom of uninterrupted productivity.
American Airlines is the first commercial airline to have been granted this approval and more are supposed to follow suit within the end of this year. While the move is certainly welcome for this generation of extremely tech-savvy workaholics, there still are quite a few restrictions to note –
- When the aircraft doors are closed for departure, devices will need to be in airplane mode.
- Wi-Fi access on equipped aircraft will be available shortly after takeoff.
- Customers need to secure their handheld devices by holding them or placing them in a seatback pocket. Previously, these devices needed to be stowed under a seat or in an overhead bin during taxi, takeoff and landing.
- Because the safety of our customers and people is always our top priority, customers should listen to all safety briefings and comply with crewmember instructions. Our crewmembers don’t like to interrupt our customers’ productivity, but always want them to be safe.
- This change doesn’t apply to larger items such as laptops. These items will still need to be stowed during taxi, takeoff and landing.
- Some American Eagle flights won’t allow the expanded use of PEDs until later this year.
Not as bad as before, but yeah, some of those restrictions like “Airplane mode” on the devices still apply. It’s great that Planes now sport WiFi access so it might soon be a possibility that you carry only thin clients with you and not a full system. That might be actually happening with the Chromebooks. That aside, the reality is that this has been enacted in the US, which usually sets precedence for regulations. Should FIA(Federation of Indian Airlines) follow? We definitely think so. The mobile market in India is bigger than the US and there is no reason that the airline regulations should be similar here.
This is definitely going to be a precedent for all the upcoming regulatory changes and we are glad it has happened. But what if the mobile phones pose a real threat to the radios? Have you ever read any real stories proving this fact? Let us know if you find any, in the comments section below.