Smartphone users travelling throughout Europe can rejoice now as they will no longer be required to turn their handset onto Airplane mode.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has confirmed that it is now safe to use portable electronic devices (PED), including laptops, tablets and smartphones, on board flights throughout the continent.
Prior to this announcement, it was widely accepted that smartphones were only allowed to be switched on after take off, so long as Airplane mode was switched on, which disables the user from being able to make phone calls, text, or use any data. Although more recently rules have become a little more relaxed, as you only have to use Airplane mode for takeoff and landing.
This means that you will be able to fully use the features on your smartphone while airborne, which will help to pass the time during your flight if you are an avid smartphone app user.
EASA said of the new policy: "This is the latest regulatory step toward enabling the ability to offer 'gate-to-gate' telecommunication or Wifi services."
However, this new policy hasn’t fully been brought into practice as each individual airline now has to go through assessments to ensure that by allowing passengers full use of their smartphones and other PEDs, the communications onboard won’t be affected. Because of this, it is likely that each airline will have different policies regarding which devices it will all to be turned on.
The new guidelines are expected to be published before the end of November, with them being put into place within the next eight months.