You can leave your screen on: how CASA’s mobile call took flight

Before passengers could leave their phones on, there was plenty of work that went into clearing the runway by Australia’s aviation regulator. CASA spoke to The Mandarin.

We always doubted leaving the phone on for takeoffs and landings had any impact on the plane. But what did it take for the nation’s air regulator to finally give the green light?

From this week, passengers on Qantas and Virgin Australia flights can keep their electronic devices on “from gate to gate” after a ruling by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. (It has to remain in flight mode, and any device weighing one kilogram or more will be subject to normal cabin baggage rules — stowed in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of you during takeoff, landing and turbulence.)

Airlines in Europe and the United States were allowed to relax their rules in the same way earlier this year. The change reflects improvements in the manufacture of both aircraft and the typical electronic devices that passengers carry, a CASA spokesperson told The Mandarin:

“The consideration of this has been kicking around for some years, because people started realising that newer generation aircraft had a lot of electronic shielding built in, and modern devices like mobile phones operate on lower power than the older ‘brick’ type ones, so the risk appeared to be lower …

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