News

BA moves to allow unrestricted use of handheld devices

9 Dec 2013 by GrahamSmith

British Airways passengers will soon be able to use personal electronic devices during all phases of their flight, following new guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

EASA today relaxed its policy that handheld devices cannot be used during taxiing, take-off and landing, even if 'flight mode' is switched on.

Under its new guidelines, EASA said devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, ereaders and MP3 music players can be switched on at all times as long as "transmitting capabilities" have been disabled.

BA responded to the news by saying it will now hold talks with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) about implementing the new guidelines.

A spokesperson for the airline said: "British Airways is working closely with the UK CAA and hopes to be in a position to announce a relaxation in the rules around the use of handheld electronic devices very soon."

It will now be up to each airline as to whether or not to permit the use of electronic devices during all phases of the flight.

EASA's change in policy only applies to smaller devices – "bulky" items such as laptop computers will still need to be stowed during taxiing, take-off and landing.

The move follows the relaxing of restrictions regarding the use of aircraft in-flight entertainment systems last year, which resulted in several UK carriers including British Airways allowing passengers to watch IFE content "from the second they reach their seat to the moment they arrive at their destination" (see news, June 25).

easa.europa.eu

Graham Smith

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