Plane passengers may soon be able to use their electronic devices as Japan’s Land Ministry is set to loosen regulations on their use while inside the aircraft. As Western aviation authorities have found no safety hazards on the use of these devices inside the aircraft, passengers may be able to use their gadgets during take-offs and landings. However, the ban on use of mobile phones during flights will remain.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration removed the ban on using electronic devices during take-offs and landings on specific aircraft models that meet the safety standards on radio waves last October. This may not pose a problem, as the majority of Japan’s major carriers use aircrafts manufactured by U.S.’ Boeing or Europe’s Airbus, with both adhering to international standards. Smart phones and tablet devices may be used if set on ‘flight mode,’ along with handheld game consoles and digital cameras. Laptops will not be allowed and must be stored in the overhead compartments.
Japanese carries are looking into adding more routes with available in-flight Wi-Fi. In 2012, Japan Airlines (JAL) launched the service on 13 passenger planes that fly to the West from Narita International Airport. The service is worth ¥1,200 (about $12) per hour or ¥2,270 for 24 hours, and is accessible above 3,000 meters. The company is set on expanding this service to their long-haul flights in Asia. Meanwhile, All Nippon Airways (ANA) introduced the service to its international flights last March and plans to expand it up to 28 flights by end of the year. International airlines such as Singapore Airlines, American Airlines and Lufthansa have already launched their own Wi-Fi services on some of their planes.
[via Asahi Shimbun]