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Use of mobile technology in the air no longer forbidden!

One of the first messages you receive when boarding a commercial flight is to turn off your cell phones or put them in “airplane mode".

This will quickly pass into oblivion!

Europe recognises 5G

You might remember that there were some trepidations last year regarding the use of 5G within aircraft, particularly in the US, due to potential interferences with the aircraft's instrumentation. This is however not the case in Europe, as 5G uses different frequencies than in the US.

On the other hand, using the internet has evolved into a standard practice on long-distance flights (even though it is somewhat expensive...). This is accomplished using specialised, high-end equipment that uses a satellite connection to establish WIFI hotspots within the aircraft.

But the game has suddenly altered as a result of the enormous influx of investments in the drone industry. The best path forward for the drone industry's future developments appears to be via satellite and 5G connections.

A decision on "Harmonised technical criteria for the usage of aerial User Equipment" was agreed by the ECC (the Electronic Communications Committee of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) on November 18, 2022, in response to this.

What’s in it for you?

This ruling establishes the legality of aerial mobile phone use in Europe and ensures its standardised use. In other words, legally, both manned and unmanned aircraft in Europe are now permitted to use a phone or tablet while in the air!

For all GA pilots who use applications while flying, this is fantastic news!

Indeed, EASA is making great efforts to assure that using mobile technology will be one of the methods to be "eConspicuous" in the upcoming U-Spaces, collaborating with partners such as SafeSky. That would imply that you would fulfil SERA 6005-c's requirements solely by using a situational awareness app on your mobile phone or tablet, without any extra hardware.

That sounds like music to the ears of our many SafeSky users, doesn't it?

Ready for take-off?

Not yet, this decision still needs to be implemented by the national telecom authorities. All nations were urged by the ECC to put this into action by May 23, 2023.


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