European air travelers may soon be able to use their mobile gadgets during a whole flight.
On Wednesday, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it will publish guidance this month that will allow the use of smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and MP3 players from takeoff to landing as long as they're in flight mode or airplane mode. Current EASA guidelines prohibit the use of such devices during taxiing, takeoff, and landing.
The new recommendations will apply to planes operated by European airlines. As a next step, EASA is investigating ways to allow mobile phone users to make phone calls while onboard the plane.
"This is a major step in the process of expanding the freedom to use personal electronic devices on board aircraft without compromise in safety," EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in a statement.
The decision by EASA follows a similar one by the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the use of mobile devices from departure to arrival as long as they're put into airplane mode.