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Russian Telecom Minister: unbanning of mobile devices aboard airliners premature

December 12, 2013, 21:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Nikolai Nikiforov: . takeoff and landing systems installed at runaways transmit signals not on the same frequency as mobiles but on a very close one thus posing the risk of jamming
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© AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File

MOSCOW, December 12. /ITAR-TASS/. It is premature to lift a ban on the use of mobile phones by passengers aboard airliners during takeoffs and landings, Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov has told Itar-Tass.

“The ban cannot be fictitious,” the minister said. “Takeoff and landing systems installed at runaways transmit signals not on the same frequency as mobiles but on a very close one thus posing the risk of jamming.”

“So the demand to switch off mobile devices is not a whim of air carriers as there are moments of overlapping frequencies,” Nikiforov said adding that it would be possible to remove the ban when “certain conversion procedures are completed.”

On November 14, Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov told reporters that in the immediate future Russian passengers could be allowed to keep their mobile devices switched on during takeoffs and landings.

“To tell the truth, nothing is impossible in our life,” he said. “I have been consistently speaking in favour of adjusting safety rules on all global airlines in accordance with the requirements of ICAO, ISO and conventional provisions.”

While commenting on the fact passengers in the European Union and in the United States are permitted not to switch off mobile phones during take-offs and landings, Sokolov said Russia had followed the example of the European Union and the world community in “easing obligatory control over footwear.”

The minister was hopeful that in the immediate future Russia might follow suit and permit the use of mobile devices in the very first and very last moments of the flight.

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