Extracts from the press conference by Siim Kallas, on the extension by the EU of the use of electronic devices on planes
Type: Summary of press conference
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 9 December 2013, Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport, made a press statement to announce that the EU's Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has updated its guidance on the use of portable electronic devices on board, including smartphones, tablets and e-readers. It confirms that these devices may be kept switched on in "Flight Mode" (non-transmitting mode) throughout the journey (including taxiing, take-off and landing) without a risk to safety.
Siim Kallas has asked EASA to accelerate its safety review of the use of electronic devices on board in transmitting mode, with new guidance expected to be published early in 2014.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the EC Berlaymont building
||Arrival of Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport, in the press room
||SOUNDBITE by Siim Kallas (in ENGLISH):This is a safety issue. And safety always has to come first. But I am pleased to tell you that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has reviewed the issue and today we are expanding the safe use of portable devices on board planes.The first step will permit the use of all portable electronics in flight mode throughout the journey, from gate to gate. The cabin crew will still ask you to pay attention when they make safety announcements and they will still ask you to stow away heavy items such as large laptops. But now we expect most airlines to adapt their procedures so that you will be able to keep your smartphones, tablets, e-readers and MP3 players switched on in "flight mode" because they do not interfere with the aircraft's safety systems. This is the first step. EASA is actively working on the next step, which concerns the use of portable electronics to connect with the network — be it mobile phoning or wi-fi. The research is making good progress and I expect to be able to announce an update next year.
||Cutaways of photographers and the audience (2 shots)