The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has made certain amendments to its regulations. From now onwards all personal electronic devices will be allowed provided they are in Flight Mode or Airplane Mode. This includes within its purview: tablets, smart phones, e-readers and mp3 players.
European Commission said in a news release on Thursday, "This means that from now onwards, spectrum for 3G (UMTS) and 4G (LTE) communications may be used above an altitude of 3,000 meters. Until now only 2G (GSM) has been permissible on-board aircraft flying in the E.U."
The only times when these electronica are not operable are during taxing, takeoff and landing. Employing 3G and 4G technology, passengers may now relay emails and browse the web while seated on the airplane. So there will be an online mile high club too from now onwards. Not just 2G but 3G and 4G will be entering the equation.
The step was taken in response to demands by passengers to be allowed to use their devices on board airlines. The only problem was that the signals from the electronic gizmos interfered with the cockpit instruments of the airliner. But defenses against that sort of static have been built. And so now there are no hang-ups in using such sophisticated devices in flight.
However, there is a catch to it. Travelers have to pay the roaming charges. In other words, flying over Europe is not for free. It costs some serious cash. There had to be a price for the immense freedom that was given. In return for no limitations on use of electronic contraptions, money had to be paid. And it is a fair exchange when seen from a particular angle.