The European Aviation Safety Agency on Friday issued new safety guidance that now allows e-readers such as the Kindle, Kobo and Nook to be used on airplanes, without the need of putting them in airplane mode. This sets the stage for major airlines to offer on-board WIFI internet access to buy books, magazines and newspapers while in the air.
The use of e-readers, smartphones and tablets will be up to each airline to decide whether to allow them to be used gate to gate. Airlines will first need to go through an assessment process to ensure planes are not affected by signals from the electronics.
Now that the regletory restrictions have been relaxed in Europe it now sets the stage for e-readers to be used in most countries. Last October, the Federal Aviation Administration gave U.S. airlines permission to allow the use of electronic devices at all stages of a flight — including takeoff and landing, though they must be in airplane mode. Canada followed suit in May, and Australia adopted the more relaxed in-flight gadget rules in August.