Small portable electronic users will be able to start using their iPads and iPhones during takeoff and landing on flights in Europe soon thanks to a decision from the European Aviation Safety Authority. The change follows a similar ruling by the FAA in the United States from only a couple months ago.
EU gets on board with gate to gate electronics use
The EASA guidelines say passengers can use personal electronic devices, which includes smartphones, tablets, and media players during takeoff, taxiing, and landing as long as they remain in airplane mode.
Just because EASA said it's OK doesn't, however, mean all airlines will join in. It's up to individual airlines to decide if they'll allow the relaxed use of personal electronic devices.
The idea behind prohibiting use of the devices below 10,000 feet came from the antiquated notion that they could adversely affect flight systems. Current studies show that isn't the case, and that not only are most planes shielded sufficiently from radio interference, but the devices don't output strong enough signals to be an issue.
There isn't any word yet on when airlines in Europe will start allowing gate to gate electronics use, but considering how well received the change has been in the United States, it's likely that'll be coming soon.
[Thanks to the Independent for the heads up]