Europe clears mobiles on aircraft
The EU has approved mobile phone use on airplanes in Europe. Now it will be up to the airlines as to whether they want to begin allowing mobile use on their planes.
The use of mobiles on planes flying in European airspace has been given formal approval by the European Commission.
The decision means that mobiles could be used once a plane has reached an altitude of 3,000m or more.
It follows six months of consultation by the European regulator and the first services could launch later this year.
Viviane Reding, the EU telecoms commissioner, has warned operators to keep the cost of calls made onplanes at a reasonable level.
The decision to offer the services now falls to individual airlines. However, there are other regulatory hurdles to overcome before the technology is considered to be fully approved.
The European Aviation Safety Agency still needs to approve any hardware that would be installed in aircraft to ensure that it did not interfere with other flight systems.