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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 28 May, 2020

Electronic device use permitted on US flights, but what about Irish flights?

Passengers on US flights will be allowed use laptops, tablets, mobiles and smart phones throughout the duration of their flight.

AIRLINES IN THE US will soon allow passengers to use portable electronic devices such as tablets, laptop computers, e-readers and mobile phones in airplane mode throughout the flight.

The Federal Aviation Authority made the anticipated announcement this week, which will allow passangers use laptops, tablets, mobiles and smart phones from gate to gate.

There are just two restrictions – passengers must pay attention to the safety messages and they are not permitted to make any calls on the flight.

Laptops, tablets and mobiles

CNN reports that until now, passengers in the US were prohibited from using the devices until their plane rose above 10,000 feet.

Delta Air Lines and JetBlue wasted no time announcing that both airlines have filed plans with the FAA to allow for use of approved electronic devices below 10,000 feet on their flights.

So, will Irish passengers be able to avail of this?

Earlier this month Aer Lingus announced that passengers on some flights flying to and from the US will be allowed to use electronic devices and will have access to Wi-Fi as well as being permitted to send texts with their mobile phone.

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said it is aware of the “confirmation from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) can be used during critical phases of flight, but added that the FAA is not considering the use of cell phones for voice communications during flight, because Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations currently prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones”.

The IAA confirmed to that under the EU regulations, PEDs cannot be used during critical phases of flight. There are some circumstances where PEDs are allowed to be used during these critical phases.

“As Ireland is part of the EU and a member of the European Air Safety Agency (EASA), Irish operators and Irish registered aircraft operating within the EU, must follow the EU regulations on PEDs,” they said.

However, they did confirm that Irish aircrafts entering the USA must also follow the EU regulations as they remain within EU regulatory control. Neither the FAA nor EASA allow mobile phone use on aircraft. Laptops and iPads can be used on Irish aircraft during non-critical phases of flight – typically when the aircraft is in ‘cruise’.

Read: Browse the web, send emails and texts – it’s all possible on some Aer Lingus flights>

Read: “I’ve made mistakes…I have to change those rough edges” – Michael O’Leary>

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