That was fast! Following North American's FAA decision to allow the gate to gate use of personal electronic devices, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced today that it will publish by the end of November 2013 guidance which will extend to all phases of flight the possibility to use personal electronic devices (PED) such as tablets, smartphones, e-readers and MP3 players as long as the devices are in "Flight Mode" or "Airplane Mode". Current EASA guidance allows the use of PED on aircraft, except during taxiing, take-off and landing. Bulky PED such as laptop computers will need to be stowed during taxiing, take-off and landing. The changes above will be applicable to aircraft operated by European airlines.
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, the Agency said it's even looking at new ways to certify the use of mobile phones on-board aircraft to make phone calls. EASA recognizes the wide proliferation of personal electronic devices and the wish of the travelling public to use them everywhere.
The aim of the Agency is to ensure safe and harmonized use of PED on-board aircraft operated by European airlines.
Cheers ~ Arne