South Korea may soon allow the use of any electronic devices during landing and takeoff if confirmed that the devices do not interfere with aircrafts' own communication and navigational systems, the government said Wednesday.
The move, if realized, will allow passengers to use any electronic devices, including cellular phones, at any time during their flight. Smartphones, however, must be put on flight mode, which cuts off radio communication.
The government has already formed a special task force to check the level of radio interference by portable electronic devices, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
The move came shortly after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration eased its own regulations in October to allow the use of electronic devices during landing and takeoff.
"The ministry has been moving to expand the use of PEDs on flights based on the outcome of a study by the task force that was established in November as a way of improving passenger convenience while also ensuring safety," it said in a press release.
A public hearing, involving experts and officials from the country's carriers, will be held Thursday to make a final assessment of any possible dangers.
"The government plans to finalize its decision by considering new opinions suggested at the upcoming hearing and deliver its decision to expand the use of portable electronic devices during flights to airlines before the end of the first quarter," the ministry said. (Yonhap News)