The government will likely follow a
"The ministry has to consider all relevant laws and regulations, including the Aviation Law, before coming up with a revision," said an official at the ministry.
"A committee determined most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference from portable electronic devices," said the
With the changes, passengers can also access the Internet through Wifi, but only when the aircraft flies above 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) and seat-belt signs are off.
Currently, passengers flying on both U.S. and Korean airlines are required to stow their gadgets once an aircraft's door closes. They can restart their devices only after captain gives the go-ahead.
"We ask passengers to turn off their smartphones and other portable gadgets during landing or taking off. When the seat-belt signs are turned off, we allow passengers to listen to music, read e-books or do other things with their devices," said an official at
The airline said it was aware of the
An aviation industry insider said, "As far as I know, there have been no reported cases that the use of electronic devices by passengers affected flight safety. The prohibition on the use of them came from the idea that nobody could guarantee that electronic interference would not cause malfunctions in the aircraft which is one of the most sophisticated and complex machines on the planet."
Aircraft experts say new airliners are far more reliant on electrical systems than previous generations, but they are also designed to be resistant to electronic interference.
Another industry insider said there were no major complaints from passengers over the ban as most of the current generation of airliners offer various types of entertainment services through video on demand (VOD) systems.
"Most airlines offer VOD services to passengers. They can listen to music, watch movies and catch up on news through such devices. And they are allowed to use electronic devices except when the aircraft is landing or taking off. That seems to be the reason that Korean airlines are not pushing for the same change as aggressively as their U.S. counterparts."
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