EASA permits the use of PEDs in-flight

Following the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s ruling last month, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has also decided to extend to European airlines the option to use Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) in all phases of flight.

At the end of November 2013, EASA will publish guidance on the use of PEDs in-flight such as tablets, smartphones, e-readers and mp3 players. The devices are to be operated in ‘Flight Mode’ or ‘Airplane Mode’. Current EASA guidance allows the use of PEDs on aircraft, except during taxiing, take-off and landing. Bulky PEDs such as laptop computers will need to be stowed during taxiing, take-off and landing.

“This is a major step in the process of expanding the freedom to use personal electronic devices on-board aircraft without compromise in safety,” said Patrick Ky, EASA Executive Director.

With the new guidance an airline, following its own assessment, will be able to allow passengers to use their PED in ‘Flight Mode’ during all phases of flight.

In the long term, EASA is looking at new ways to certify the use of mobile phones on-board aircraft to make phone calls. The agency still emphasises that it is important passengers continue to listen to the safety briefings conducted by the crew and follow their instructions.

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