Why do you have to turn off your phone on an aeroplane?

The rules regarding the use of mobile phones in flight have always been confusing for many travellers. A few minutes before the plane takes off, passengers are invited to turn off their electronic devices or put them into airplane mode, as cellular data can only be turned on when the plane has landed. This includes cell phones, tablets, laptops, music players and other similar devices. But why do these rules exist?

First, note that mobile phones transmit electromagnetic waves. These waves can potentially interfere with the aircraft’s navigation equipment, which could create potential safety issues. That is why, to avoid any risk of interference, airlines and aviation regulators prefer to take all necessary precautions. 

However, it is important to emphasise that these risks are relatively low. Aeroplanes are now equipped with sophisticated navigation systems that are resistant to electromagnetic interference. In addition, mobile phones emit low levels of waves, which further reduces the risks.

What is the difference between turning off your phone and putting it in airplane mode?

Airplane mode disables all wireless connections on the cell phone, including the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular signals. This makes it possible to reduce the risks of interference with the aircraft’s navigation equipment. 

Rules regarding the use of mobile phones may vary from airline to airline. Some airlines may allow cell phones to be used in airplane mode, while others may require passengers to completely turn off their cell phones during the flight. It is therefore important to check the safety regulations for your airline before travelling to avoid any misunderstandings.