Two Australian airlines will finally allow passengers to use their electronic devices during takeoff and landing. No more interrupted television shows, and a lot more inappropriately loud phone calls.
From Tuesday, passengers on Qantas and Virgin Australia flights will be allowed to play on their phone to their heart’s content, after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority approved the use of all electronic devices in flight mode on both airlines. You can also stay on your phone’s cellular network until the door of the plane closes.
The decision follows the lead of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which gave the go-ahead last year for devices to be used gate-to-gate on flights. Both CASA and FAA research into electronic devices on flights came to the conclusion using a device during takeoff and landing does not interfere with the plane’s safety.
Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Officer Lyell Strambi said in a statement Qantas was excited to be one of the first Australian airlines to make the changes.
“We’re delighted to give Qantas customers the freedom and flexibility to use their personal electronic devices from the moment they board the plane until they disembark,” Strambi said.
“Whether customers choose to listen to music, read their e-books or review work documents, the introduction of gate-to-gate electronic access on Qantas flights is an exciting development to an already exceptional inflight entertainment service.”
The company undertook “rigorous testing” to establish whether electronic devices had any impact on the safe operation of a plane.
Virgin and Qantas applied to make the change after the Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) updated its guidelines to allow passengers to use devices under one kilogram.
“The bottom line is electro-magnetic interference is not an issue for all the new aircraft,” CASA spokesperson Peter Gibson told ITnews. “It’s only the older ones, and there’s very few of those left in service. The bulk of Australia’s aircraft are relatively new, 10 years or less, so all the aircraft on all the major airlines would have no issues.”
Let’s hope the use of devices is approved on more Aussie airlines in the near future.
First published on Mashable.com