There have been rumours recently that mobile phones may be allowed to be turned on on planes in the near future. So what was the risk of having them turned on anyways? Would the plane really fall out of the sky?
In reality… no. If mobile phones were really that dangerous to aircraft, we wouldn’t be trusted to bring them along with us. It’s 2013, people! Thinking that mobile phones could make planes drop out of the sky is like believing in the tooth fairy. It’s not real. So why won’t the FAA admit it? And why can’t we be chit chatting our way to our next holiday destination?
In 1992, the FAA studied the impact of mobile phones on planes, and found nothing. However, they chose not to share those findings with their public, instead deciding to play it safe… just in case. In a way, their actions make sense – a lot of the instruments on a plane function via radio waves, so it’s better to have less radiation going on in and around the plane, to reduce the interference on the instruments.
Of course, a much more reasonable argument would be: peace and quiet. Consider the sheer number of people packed into the small cabins of an aircraft, and now imagine 50% of them talking away on their mobile phones – it would be extremely noisy, and it would be nearly impossible to have a personal or any kind of confidential business conversation without at least 6 people eavesdropping, let alone a good night’s sleep or a good old movie sesh.
Last year, Virgin announced that they would be launching the ability to make calls, send and receive texts and surf the web on their London to New York flights. Of course, this new offering is fairly limited – only about 10 passengers will be able to make calls at the same time. There will be additional costs involved, and Virgin is positioning it as meeting a need for business travelers that may need to make an urgent call during the long flight. In other words, this isn’t time to call up your Granny for a catch-up chat.
I’ve just got one question, what will they call it when ‘Airplane Mode’ no longer makes sense? Share your thoughts with us!
Check the BullGuard Blog regularly for the latest news mobile trends and security advice. You can easily subscribe to receive updates here.