Like those in the U.S., European airlines are rolling out guidelines to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices (PED) during all phases of flight. The European Aviation Safety Agency is also looking for a long-term solution that will allow passengers to make telephone calls from their mobile devices as well. If approved, the ability to make cellphone calls would be allowed only on European carriers.
Mobile phones on aircraft
The FAA said Thursday that passengers will soon be able to use their personal electronic devices during all phases of aircraft operation, including takeoff and landing. Each airline will decide how best to implement the agency’s approval. Use of cellphones for communication will remain banned, however, as will all use of devices during certain airport low-visibility conditions.
The FAA has published a draft study of the effects of cellphone use for voice communications in aircraft used for scheduled transportation and is seeking public comments (due by November 5). While the agency currently doesn’t approve installation of mobile phone base stations on airliners, other countries’ “civil aviation authorities reported no confirmed occurrences of cellphones affecting flight safety on aircraft with onboard cellular telephone base stations,” according to the study.
Oh, Alec! You’ve gone and done it now. When you got kicked off that American Airlines flight on December 6 because you didn’t want to turn off your phone and stop playing Words With Friends and got mad at the flight attendant and slammed the bathroom door, well, you exposed the airlines’ dirty little secret, didn’t you?
The Federal Communications Commission has said it won’t continue exploring the feasibility of allowing passengers to use their personal cellphones to make calls in flight, basing its decision on concerns raised by cellular providers over possible airborne interference with ground networks.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to keep in place the rule requiring passengers in the U.S. to turn off cellphones before takeoff. But the ruling might not be enough to end the debate thanks to new mobile telephone technology that is designed to circumvent traditional cellular ground networks.
Lingering uncertainty about whether cellphone calls placed by airline passengers would cause interference with the cell system on the ground has prompted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to drop a longstanding proposal to relax the current ban.
Middle East air passengers can soon look forward to using their personal cell phones in flight. Mobile phone technology specialist OnAir of Geneva, Switzerland, will begin tests on the commercial use of mobile phones aboard TAP Portugal Airbus A321s later this year. According to OnAir CEO George Cooper, Gulf state airlines will likely be among the first to offer the service.
Preparing for the day when aircraft passengers are allowed to make cellphone calls in flight, Arinc and Telenor have created AeroMobile, a new service that the companies say will make such calling routine for airline and business aircraft passengers.
AeroMobile, a joint venture of Arinc and Telenor now planning the introduction of cellphone services for the cabin, last month announced that it is taking a “global role” in convincing communications regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Europe to allow the use of personal mobile phones after takeoff.
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