DOT/FAA/AR-12/30 : Study on the Use of Cell Phones on Passenger Aircraft
Why that last haven of tranquility from mobile phone users will soon disappear.
The FAA has recently published the findings of a study into the use of cell (mobiles to us here in the UK) phones on passenger aircraft and, rather surprisingly make this comment – well surprising in one sense and prdeictable in another when it relates to the cost of a call!
The authorities reported that use of cell phones on aircraft while airborne is
restricted by telecommunications authority regulations. Operators of aircraft with
on-board cellular telephone base stations must have approval from
telecommunication authorities before these systems can be used by passengers
with their cell phones.
None of the civil aviation authorities reported any cases of air rage or flight
attendant interference related to passengers using cell phones on aircraft
equipped with on-board cellular telephone base stations. Some passengers
complained about the cost of the cell phone service and when the cell phone
service was inoperative or interrupted in flight.
The study aims to provide congress with feedback from authorities around the world on the use of Portable Electronic Devices during flight.
One comment from the UK CAA however would seem to indicate that PED’s are not welcome in the cockpit…
The UK CAA noted
“Whilst the introduction of the onboard picocell systems has
enabled cellular phones to be used in flight, their use is still restricted to the
cruise phase of flight only, and to use within defined areas of the aircraft which
excludes the flight deck, preventing flight crew distraction. The use in cruise only
is an established process intended to minimise any residual risk posed by PED
use to the phases of flight where the safety margins are greatest. This policy is
defined within JAA Temporary Guidance Leaflet No.29
17 and CAA Aeronautical
Information Circular 1/2004
18 but these apply to PEDs in general and do not
specifically, in this aspect, address cellular phones.”
Question – does this affect the use of a 3G equipped iPad then? All is not as clear as first thought…
For the full document see