If you have ever traveled by flight and had a smartphone or tablet with you, the airline employees must have requested that you turn them off entirely or put them in airplane mode. The flight attendant made care to remind passengers to put their phones in “airplane mode” even though they wanted to upload one final selfie before the flight took off. The use of airplane mode is not new, so why do airlines insist on it?
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Your laptop, tablet, and phone’s “airplane mode” feature allow you to temporarily disable Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and even radio transmissions. In essence, this implies that you are unable to place or receive calls, send text messages or WhatsApp messaging, or use the internet. However, your phone is still operating normally. Everything on your phone that doesn’t need a signal or the internet to access it, such as music, preloaded movies, games, and eBooks, will be available.
How can airplane mode be used?
Turning airplane mode on or off is relatively easy. The Control Center on an iPhone has the symbol for airplane mode. Depending on the make and model of your phone, all you have to do to activate the airplane mode is swipe down from the top of the screen. On Android, you can enter the quick settings panel and turn on airplane mode by swiping down from the top of the screen. Your phone is in airplane mode when you activate it. Additionally, to use airplane mode on a Mac, you must deactivate Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. On a Windows laptop, choose Airplane mode by clicking the Network icon on the taskbar.
What justifies using airplane mode?
Well, the main concern is safety. The RTCA (Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics), an independent industry standards body, was asked by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to research the impacts of electronic gadgets on aircraft in 1992. Since RTCA discovered no interference, FAA advised airlines to permit passengers to use computers, audio players, and gaming equipment while in flight. However, for safety’s sake, electronic devices should be turned off or in airplane mode during takeoff and landing.
In reality, Boeing looked into a few incidents in the 1990s and discovered that some electrical gadgets caused instrument display issues and autopilot disconnects. The manufacturer of the aircraft was never able to validate or duplicate these claims in a lab test.
Why do airline employees urge you to put your smartphone in airplane mode or turn it off?
Why do you Turn on Airplane Mode in Flight?
Because smartphones and other wireless gadgets generate radio waves and electromagnetic interference (EMI), which may interfere with an aircraft’s communication systems, airline personnel asks us to turn off or put our electronic devices in airplane mode. In turn, this interference can temporarily disrupt radio frequency and cause misunderstanding between the pilots and air traffic control. Imagine that an airplane is unable to contact air traffic control at the airport where you intend to land. Even in a nightmare, nobody wants that to occur. It seems to sense that airplane mode has grown more significant, especially with the widespread deployment of 5G.
Despite flying 40,000 feet above the earth, 5G users’ devices and ground antenna transmissions may interfere with aircraft during the descent and landing.
Today, many airlines provide in-flight Wi-Fi, which may be purchased either when purchasing airline tickets or while boarding the aircraft. It is an additional fee (although some airlines do offer free Wi-Fi as well).
Even though in-flight entertainment is a paid service, the airline’s communications are not integrated. Reason? Well, satellite-based Wi-Fi networks are used on flights. In contrast to ground-based connectivity, satellite Wi-Fi makes use of an orbiting satellite network to facilitate connections. The plane links to the satellite by a transceiver antenna module that is mounted on top of the aircraft like how ground stations are connected to satellites. The satellite-based connection has the benefit of demonstrating a quick network employing greater bandwidth signals.
Having said that, high latency signals frequently get lost since the distance between an airplane and a satellite is greater than the distance between an airplane and the ground. This results in slower or patchier connectivity as well as a higher maintenance and deployment cost. Satellite Wi-Fi, however, is not as quick to stream movies since it operates on a narrowband frequency, but it should be adequate for checking emails.
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Is there any other reason to utilize airplane mode?
One significant advantage of placing your phone in airplane mode is that it has a little longer battery life. Consider this: if you’re on the road and forget to bring a power bank or charger, simply put your phone in airplane mode for a few minutes to acquire a little more percentage of battery life. Airplane mode may also be employed when you’re fatigued after a long day and don’t want WhatsApp messages or frequent calls from your manager.