updated 07:14 am EST, Thu November 14, 2013
Incoming EASA guidelines follow similar FAA rule changes
Airline passengers in Europe will be able to use electronic devices from take-off to landing, under new guidelines. Soon to be published by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the new rules to airlines come just two weeks after the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) made similar alterations to its own guidelines for US-based flights.
The EASA's changes specifies that devices must be used in an "airplane mode," reports the BBC, with notebooks needing to be stowed away during take-off and landing. Just like the FAA rules, voice calls and texts are still banned, but the agency is still looking for ways to certify the use of phones on planes in the future.
EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky claims "This is a major step in the process of expanding the freedom to use personal electronic devices on-board aircraft without compromise in safety."
The new guidelines will be published at the end of November, with individual airlines having the final say as to whether or not passengers can use the devices at low altitudes. The implementation by European airlines could be quick, as JetBlue, Delta, American Airlines, and United Airlines all adopted the new rules within one week of the changes. It is thought that the rules will only apply to Europe-only flights, rather than inter-continental routes, though the similarities between the EASA and FAA rules could see a future clarification permitting usage between Europe and the US.