People flying on Qantas and Virgin Australia are finally being allowed to use their mobile phones and other electronic devices during flights.
Up to now they had to be turned off when the plane was on the ground and climbing or descending because it was considered a safety risk due to possible interference with aircraft equipment.
Alan Milne, Head of Engineering with Qantas explained: “We had to do extensive testing to prove that the phones wouldn’t impact any of the aircraft systems. Now that testing has been completed and there was no impact at all. Until Qantas was happy we weren’t going to let these be in operation.”
Other Australian airlines are planning to follow suit.
Australia is behind Europe and the United States, where you could already have your phone or other electronic gadgets on while flying.
They have to be in what is known as flight mode so you cannot make phone calls but can play games or listen to an inbuilt MP3 player from getting on to getting off.
And as far back as 2011 euronews reported on the introduction of free inflight WiFi by some airlines for emailing, Skyping or surfing the internet.