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Euro airlines ease rules on portable electronic devices

May 6, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) are the latest two carriers to permit use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) during flight.

Airlines are changing the rules following last December’s modification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) of guidelines on the use of such devices.

A similar amendment was issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last year. 250x250

SWISS announced yesterday it would permit the use of portable electronic devices throughout flights provided the device is switched to “airplane” mode. Wireless and Bluetooth functions must continue to be deactivated.

Up to now, passengers on SWISS have only been permitted to use their portable electronic devices (PEDs) in “airplane” mode while their flight is at cruising altitude. From now on, however, such devices can be used in “airplane” mode throughout the flight, from takeoff to landing. The PEDs concerned range from tablets to e-readers and mobile phones, including headphones.

The sole exceptions to the new regulations are that such devices cannot be used during departures or arrivals in conditions of low visibility, and that the new provisions do not apply to larger folding electronic devices such as laptops or notebooks. These must continue to be switched off completely and carefully stowed away for the taxi, takeoff and landing phases of the flight.

Austrian Airlines has stated that passengers will be permitted to use their “light electronic devices” on board, including during takeoff and landing. The rule applies to all Austrian Airlines routes and is valid for smart phones, tablets, notebooks and other electronic devices with a maximum weight of one kilogram.

“As of this day, the devices may remain switched without interruption during the entire time on board,” a statement said. “The prerequisite is that all transmitting functions must be deactivated, and the device must be kept in flight mode.”

Written by :  Peter Needham

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