Understand why you should activate airplane mode during flights

Understand why you should activate airplane mode during flights

When enabled, the feature disables mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and cell phone GPS to prevent interference with aircraft. Cell phone airplane mode: why you need to activate the feature during flights Darlan Helder/g1 Activating airplane mode during a flight is the rule in airlines around the world. Failure to comply with this determination may result in interference with the operation of some aircraft equipment. See the explanation and risks in this report. Most modern cell phone models have connections that use electromagnetic waves (or “radio waves”) to exchange information, and these technologies can affect some planes. This is why smartphones need to be put in airplane mode especially during takeoff and landing — the moments considered most critical on the trip. What happens when airplane mode is turned on? This functionality turns off the transmission and reception of radio waves in a portable electronic device (in the case of cell phones). The main source of electromagnetic interference in aircraft is intentional transmission. When your phone is in airplane mode, this risk is eliminated. In other words, the pilot’s communication, with radars and navigation, ends up not being harmed. “One of the frequency bands used for cell phone communication is close to the band used by one of the aircraft’s navigation instruments. The probability of interference is not great, but it exists”, explains to g1 Jorge Henrique Bidinotto, professor of aeronautical engineering from the University of São Paulo (USP). According to the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel), airplane mode turns off the device’s wireless communication interfaces. They are: 🌐 mobile data 📶 wi-fi 🎧 Bluetooth 📱NFC 📡 GPS But, currently, some devices allow you to turn on wi-fi and bluetooth again even with the “airplane mode” function still activated, keeping only the cell phone’s mobile network turned off . This way, the passenger will be able to connect the device to the plane’s internet and use Bluetooth to connect a headset, for example. “In the past, airplane mode was very precise, and manufacturers were not completely confident that the communication functions were actually completely isolated,” says Jorge Henrique Bidinotto, from the University of São Paulo (USP). “It seems that this has changed in recent years. Therefore, today people rely on leaving the phone in this mode, in which you cannot communicate, but you can use it for other functions, such as videos, music, games, etc.” An advantage of having airplane mode turned on is that the cell phone will not be searching for operator antennas (ERBs) during the flight, which helps save battery. READ ALSO: 🔋 No battery? g1 tests 4 cell phones that last all day 📱 ID, CPF, CNH and more: see how to use 7 digital documents Are aircraft at risk of signal interference? Industry experts explained to g1 that the risk of interference exists and that it varies depending on the aircraft. For example, on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, one of the most advanced commercial aircraft today, interference is zero. A320 model aircraft are also not affected when tested with interference from intentional transmissions on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS frequencies. According to Anatel, to date, there has been no record of interference on flights in Brazil caused by cell phones inside the aircraft. Anac informs that, in the case of commercial passenger transport, all aircraft are certified, including regarding interference from electromagnetic signals. The agency explains that, during certification, planes are subjected to extensive tests to determine whether they reach an acceptable level in terms of interference from these signals, at different phases of the flight. This minimum level has evolved over time and is defined by international forums, in which Anac actively participates. What the airlines say about the matter: Gol informed that it fully follows the recommendations of Anac and the aircraft manufacturer to mitigate any risk related to the matter. Azul stated that its aircraft are authorized to use portable electronic equipment in airplane mode throughout the flight, including with Wi-Fi activated, without any interference occurring. Latam declared that it follows the provisions of Anac in the Brazilian Civil Aviation Regulation, which indicates that “it is prohibited to use and the operator of an aircraft is prohibited from authorizing the use of any portable electronic device on any civil aircraft registered in Brazil”. “The main reason is to not cause interference with the communications or navigation systems of the aircraft in which it is being used.” See videos below on other topics related to cell phones and air travel: Flight delayed or canceled? See passenger rights Inventor of the cell phone criticizes addiction to devices Cell phone is the new wallet: know how to keep your device safe and what to do in case of theft READ ALSO: Smart weapons: manufacturer promises pistol that only fires after identifying shooter Understand what it is a ‘hacker’ and the difference to ‘cracker’ How to choose a secure password



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