Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the decision by the European Commission to give the green light for the latest wireless communication technology to be used by passengers flying over the EU.
Ms Anderson said:
“This week’s decision means airlines can now develop new in-flight internet services using 3G and 4G. Until now only 2G had been allowed on board aircraft. If airlines take advantage of the new possibilities, passengers will have access to better internet services, but for safety reasons only when aircraft are flying above 3000m.
“This means that if passengers wish to surf the net, access social networks or send emails with attachments inflight, this technology will allow it.
“Airlines will now be able to offer passengers a range of enhanced services if they so wish. Industry surveys indicate SMS and email are of greatest interest to passengers. The European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) will issue guidance on use of devices during flights by the end of November.
“Airlines operating in the EU will decide whether to take advantage of this new option. The decision creates the latitude for airlines – rather than a right for passengers– to offer facilities for the use of smartphones and tablets during flights.”