Say Goodbye to ‘Airplane Mode’: Phones Can Now Be Used in Flight

A new era begins in air travel. As you know, the use of mobile phones during the flight was very limited until today. Passengers and flight crew had to put their devices in Airplane Mode or turn them off completely. This caused problems on long-haul flights and forced people to pay high prices to use Wi-Fi. However, the rules are finally changing with the new technologies. Airline passengers in the European Union (EU) will soon be able to use their phones to full effect in the sky.

The end of airplane mode?

The EU Commission reserved certain frequency bands for aircraft in 2008 and allowed some services to offer internet access in the air. Unfortunately, this service is both slow and overpriced. The only alternative for passengers was to put their devices in airplane mode. However, the rules are changed. Airline passengers in European Union countries will not need to put their phones in airplane mode during flight.

The European Commission announced that it has decided to remove the ‘airplane mode’ rule. The deadline for member states to make the frequency bands available for planes is 30 June 2023. This will mean people can use all of their phone’s features mid-flight – enabling calls and data-heavy apps that stream music and video. According to the European Commission, new system will be able to take advantage of the much faster download speeds provided by 5G and can be over 100Mbps.

Dai Whittingham, chief executive of the UK Flight Safety Committee, said: “There was a concern they could interfere with automatic flight control systems. What has been found with experience is the risk of interference is very small. The recommendation has always been that once you are in flight, devices should be in in airplane mode.”




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