Green light for mobile phone use on flights

European Aviation Safety Agency says electronic devices can be left switched on

mobile phones allowed during flights

Europe's air safety agency has said that airlines can allow passengers to use electronic devices including mobile phones at any time during flights as they do not pose a safety risk.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), based in Germany, issued new guidelines stating that European-based airlines can now allow passengers to leave their mobile phones switched on, without putting them on 'flight mode'.

According to the BBC, EASA said each airline would still have to go through an assessment process to ensure that aircraft systems are not affected by the signals from electronic devices before they establish their own rules for use.

This could mean a delay in the rules being implemented and some airlines may opt for different policies.

"We're basically opening the door where, in theory, you'll be able to continue making your phone call through the gate throughout the flight ... like you would on a train," EASA spokesman Ilias Maragakis told The Associated Press, via Sky News, on Friday.

The devices allowed could also depend on the aircraft type.

Last year, EASA announced that electronic devices could be switched on for almost the whole flight, providing they were put on 'flight mode'.

In August, a plane was evacuated at Tel Aviv's airport after a passenger's iPhone caught fire onboard.

The smartphone was in a young girl's handbag and caught fire as passengers boarded the Prague-bound flight.

Cabin crew led passengers off the plane and into the main airport building after the plane reportedly filled with smoke.

No injuries were reported, but the incident could force airport officials to evaluate the safety of travellers carrying fully charged electronic devices on planes.

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