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UK to study US clearance for mobile devices throughout flights

UK authorities are to study a decision by US aviation regulator FAA to allow the use of mobile devices throughout flights

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UK authorities are to study a decision by US aviation regulator FAA to allow the use of mobile devices throughout flights on US airlines.

UK regulators will look into how the FAA rules can be applied to UK airlines, according to the BBC.

Until now, passengers on US airlines and most other airlines have been prohibited from using mobile devices during take-off and landing.

The FAA announcement follows a recommendation by its Portable Electronic Device Aviation Rulemaking Committee to allow electronic device use, subject to safety checks.

US carriers are expected to allow passengers to use smartphones, tablets, and ebook readers from departure gate to arrival gate by the end of the year.

However, internet connections for email, web surfing, and downloading will be prohibited below 10,000 feet and mobile voice calls will remain banned because of possible interference with flight equipment.

Although passengers will be able to keep mobile phones switched on, they must be set to "airplane mode" or otherwise suspend strong signal transmissions.

The FAA also requires airlines to carry out safety checks before implementing the change. Airlines must also assess risks and prove they can handle the effects that mobile devices have on flight instruments.

US airline Delta has already submitted a plan to the FAA and hopes to allow passengers on domestic flights to use electronic devices throughout flights as early as this month.

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