News Column

Smartphone use allowed on planes during takeoffs and landings

August 31, 2014

Airplane passengers are now allowed to use their smartphones and other electronic devices during takeoffs and landings at Japan's airports as long as the devices are set to "airplane mode" to suspend their communication functions.

The easing of the regulation Monday followed the lifting of such restrictions by the United States and European countries. The Japanese government had previously banned the use of electronic devices during takeoffs and landings, saying they could have adverse effects on navigation systems.

Passengers can now also send and receive e-mails when a plane enters a taxiway after landing, but talking on the phone is still prohibited.

While wireless Internet connections are also allowed under the regulations, airlines are still restricting their use to when planes are airborne.

"Being able to use my personal computer the whole time from takeoff till landing is very convenient," said a 37-year-old man on an All Nippon Airways Co. flight Monday from Tokyo'sHaneda airport to Osaka.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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