Europe set to allow full mobile use on flights

Two decisions by policy makers in Europe to allow mobile use during flights.

European lawmakers have agreed to let people use electronic devices during a flight's take-off and landing, whilst letting airlines permit full use of mobiles, smartphones and tablets for the rest of the journey.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it was to publish guidance this month allowing complete use of mobiles during flights as long as flight mode was switched on. But yesterday, the European Commission said it was to allow users to run their mobile devices, including 3G and 4G usage, throughout a flight, except for take-off and landing.

Airlines were already able to allow 2G use during continental flights, but the European Commission agreed the standard wasn't practical for sending and receiving large amounts of data, as customers now demand. The new rules will only apply once an aircraft is above 3,000 metres, so as to not interfere with ground-based services.

The EU decision does not give passengers a right to use their devices, but instead lets airlines decide whether or not to open up mobile usage.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"This EU decision gives airlines the opportunity to allow their customers to use their smartphones and tablets in-flight. We're saying there is no reason why passengers should be prevented from using their mobiles and their tablets during flights (when the plane is above 3,000m). Airlines remain in charge about whether they allow this during their flights or not," said European Commission spokesperson Ryan Heath.

"It's up to the airlines but I can imagine a number of ways this could work. You could have quiet zones and communications zones, like many trains have today. Or limit the new possibilities to longer flights or to certain periods of the flight for example to avoid sleep disruption."

The US Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced it would allow people to use devices throughout the duration of a flight, but only in safe mode.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now


Policy & legislation

Breaking up big tech 'will cause more problems', says EU

8 Nov 2019

LTE vs 4G

16 Sep 2019

4G vs 5G - what's the difference?

25 Mar 2019
Policy & legislation

EU shelves plans to impose digital tax

13 Mar 2019

Most Popular

data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
cyber security

If not passwords then what?

8 Jan 2020
Policy & legislation

GDPR and Brexit: How will one affect the other?

9 Jan 2020
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020