We all know the routine by heart: “Please ensure your seats are in the upright position, tray tables stowed, window shades are up, laptops are stored in the overhead bins and electronic devices are set to flight mode.”
Now, the first four are reasonable, right? Window shades need to be up so we can see if there’s an emergency, such as fire. Tray tables need to be stowed and seats upright so we can get out of the row quickly. Laptops can become projectiles in an emergency, as the seat back pockets are not strong enough to contain them.
And mobile phones need to be set to flight mode so they can’t cause an emergency for the airplane, right? Well, it depends whom you ask.
Technology has advanced a great deal
Aviation navigation and communication relies on radio services, which has been coordinated to minimize interference since the 1920s.
The digital technology currently in use is much more advanced than some of the older analog technologies we used even 60 years ago. Research has shown personal electronic devices can emit a signal within the same frequency band as the aircraft’s communications and navigation systems, creating what is known as electromagnetic interference.
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