Thailand mulls lifting mobile phone ban on flights

Other News Materials 9 April 2008 09:44 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Thailand's aviation officials are considering lifting a ban on using mobile phones during airline flights as studies have indicated their signals do not interfere with aircraft navigation, news reports said Wednesday.

"The use of mobile phones on planes may soon be a possibility," Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) deputy director-general Wuthichai Singhamanee told the Bangkok Post.

The DCA is seeking more input on the matter from Airbus, Boeing and the pilot association before going ahead with removing a clause in the country's flight safety regulations that currently bans mobile phone use onboard.

Several countries have reportedly already lifted their inflight hand-phone bans, as most aircraft now have shielding devices in their navigation systems that block electromagnetic interference.

There is, however, still the annoyance factor to consider.

"I see many people engaged in fistfights over prolonged talks on the phones," predicted Tassapon Bijleveld, chief executive of Thai AirAsia, a budget carrier.