Are Mobile Phones Safe to Use on Planes?


It’s an hour into your flight from Los Angeles to London and your cell phone starts ringing actually it vibrates. You know who it is. It’s your friend Carol calling to see if your flight will arrive on time. Instinctively you reach in your pocket to answer the phone. You open it up and are about to say hello, but then you think about what the flight attendant said. She told all of the passengers that cell phones were not to be used on the plane. Though you cannot remember the reason she gave for this prohibition, you remember her repeating it several times. You also recall that she was not smiling at the time. In fact, it was the only time you can remember seeing the woman without a smile. You feel that she must have actually been serious.

Your Sim Free mobile is still vibrating and the woman sitting beside you is looking at you out of the corner of your eye, wondering what you will do next. You wonder, what’s the big deal? You glance around for the flight attendant and answer your phone.

No, of course, the plane does not go down in flames. But there is actually a very good reason why airlines prohibit the use of Sim free mobile phones on their flights. Actually there are two reasons. Firstly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports that wireless signal may interfere with the planes avionics and communications equipment. This is why cell phones are banned in hospitals. Because there is it has been the signals that phones emit can be interfere with the operation of ventilators, monitors and pacemakers. In fact, there have been a number of documented cases where cell phones in hospitals have caused equipment to go shut down. Most cell phone users have absolutely no idea that their cell phones are actually high-powered transmitters which send signals whether they are using them or not.

Another reason why Sim free mobile phones are banned on airplanes is because the FCC says that it can disrupt cell phone service for people on the ground. Since cell phones used on planes communicate with a number of different cell towers while they are in the air, cell towers can become overloaded and service may be interrupted.

There is a reason why law enforcement officials are working on technology that will automatically disable Sim mobile phones before the plane leaves the hanger. They want to give people as much freedom as they possibly can and they do not want to have to confiscate cell phones. But they are worried about the number of travelers who blatantly ignore the airlines ban on cell phone use. The fact is that many people are so attached to their phones that they cannot bring themselves to turn them off. For this reason, the airlines may be forced to take a tougher stance in the future and actually have people who break their rules arrested and charged with a crime.

So the next time you think about picking up your Sim mobile phone while you are traveling on a plane, do the right thing and let it go to voicemail.

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