Airplane Mode won’t be Mandatory on Flights in the EU from June 2023
Airline passengers in the European Union (EU) will soon be able to use their phones to full effect in the sky.
The European Commission ruled airlines can provide 5G technology on board planes, alongside slower mobile data. The approval from the European Commission means airlines will soon allow passengers to use mobile phone data on board flights.
The deadline for member states to make the 5G frequency bands available for planes is 30 June 2023.
Dai Whittingham, chief executive of the UK Flight Safety Committee, was quoted saying that airplane mode was historically important due to a lack of knowledge about how mobile devices affect aircraft. He said, “There was a concern they could interfere with automatic flight control systems. What has been found with experience is the risk of interference is very small. The recommendation has always been that once you are in flight, devices should be in airplane mode.”
There has been a concern in the USA that 5G frequencies could interfere with flights, and even potentially lead to erroneous altitude measurements. Mr. Whittingham said this is not an issue in the UK and the EU. He said, “There is much less prospect of interference. We have a different set of frequencies for 5G, and there are lower power settings than those that have been allowed in the US.” “The traveling public wants 5G,” Whittingham added. “The regulators will open up that possibility, but there will be steps that will be taken to ensure that whatever they do is safe.”
“5G will enable innovative services for people and growth opportunities for European companies,” Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, said in a statement. “The sky is no longer a limit when it comes to possibilities offered by super-fast, high-capacity connectivity,” he said.
This news has garnered a mixed response from the flyers. Many are concerned about the ‘peace’ and ‘quiet’ during flying.