In-Flight Cell-Phones a Go In Europe
While the FCC and FAA hold in-flight calling and texting at bay here in the US, the European Aviation Safety Agency is on the march to rid the world of this one last bastion of cell-phone-free space, at least in the E.U.. Ryanair, Qantas, and Air France have been testing in-flight mobile use for the past several months. The results of the trial have been impressive enough for the EASA agency to give approval to Airbus' OnAir service, which will be used by Ryanair and Qantas on flights this year.
Good news for those who would rather keep airplanes cell-phone-free: The flight crew will maintain control over the system, which means they can shut off voice channels when, say, it's time for everyone to sleep, while still leaving text-messaging and data capability intact. The service will roll out initially in short haul flights in Western Europe, though Airbus has stated its intent to take the program global, if it can win approval elsewhere.
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- FCC Says No to Cell Phones On Planes