"Please turn off and stow all electronic devices."
For flight passengers, this announcement can be a cringe-worthy reminder, whether they are using an Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle e-reader or BlackBerry smartphone.
But is the announcement really all necessary to begin with?
Some say the argument that using a mobile phone, tablet or other electronic device can interfere with aircraft controls is an unproven idea.
"Reports of such interference have been purely speculation by pilots about the cause of a problem,"
"While JetBlue has been approved for a decade to use a PC-based laptop in the cockpit – called an Electronic Flight Bag – the iPads will offer new capabilities and conveniences, especially as
The cost runs
Too bad passengers travelling on other international flights can't always enjoy those same capabilities and conveniences.
Four in 10 passengers surveyed in the US this year said they would like to use their devices during all phases of a flight, including takeoff and landing. Moreover, almost one-third of passengers –30 per cent – reported having accidentally left a personal electronic device switched on during a flight, according to the survey jointly released by the
If this were the case, and devices were left powered on, would there not be numerous reports of flights that had ran into some sort of issue due to our growing personal army of portable technology?
In June, the US Federal aviation administration (FAA), a government agency that oversees national aviation, said it "recognises consumers are intensely interested in the use of personal electronics aboard aircraft; that is why we tasked a government-industry group to examine the safety issues and the feasibility of changing the current restrictions." This industry group has since made recommendations to ease some restrictions, although the
Meanwhile, some passengers on airlines in other countries are continuing to travel as usual-with their gadgets left on.
"In many other countries, the rules are less strict [than in the US]," says
"For example, cell phone use is possible on a number of carriers overseas."
Emirates, with its
"If that's not enough, every seat on board the Emirates A380 has a satellite telephone and onscreen email/SMS services," it says.
For now, anyway, that might just be enough.
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