Looks like anyone with EHS will not longer be able to fly, just as we have been excluded from electric trains/trams

Thought you might be interested in this radio programme from BBC Radio 4 in the UK. The last paragraph of the programme description (see below) is particular of significance to anyone with EHS.

Looks like anyone with EHS will not longer be able to fly, just as we have been excluded from electric trains/trams. I know Ryanair a budget airline based in the UK and Ireland has announced plans to allow mobile on its flights (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5298332.stm )

The Material World BBC Radio 4 Thursday 14 September 2006

Audio Link:
Web Link:


"I'm on the Plane!"

Those are words to sink the hearts of peace-loving travellers.

At present, mobile phone use is banned on planes on safety grounds, but surveillance equipment shows that many frequent fliers ignore the rule.

So are mobile phones a genuine threat to air safety or just to airlines' income from their own in-flight phones? Surely it's OK to leave your phone switched on if you don't actually make a call?

No, says Bill Strauss, who researches electromagnetic compatibility in the USA. He points out that your mobile will send out stronger and stronger signals to try to stay in touch with phone masts on the ground.

If US and European phones on the same flight both do so, they produce interference on the same frequency as the plane uses for its GPS navigation equipment. There is circumstantial evidence of occasions where the GPS has been 150 miles off course, perhaps as a result.

Even electronic equipment not intended for communications, such as music players and games consoles can produce interference at critical frequencies, the research shows.

But there could be ways round these problems and some airlines have plans to introduce their own in-flight mobile phones systems using what are called picocells. Paul Guckian is working on them at Qualcomm in the USA, European companies are also developing the technology.

The idea is to keep the signals low, effectively by flying a mini phone mast in the plane. But each plane must pass stringent safety tests for electrical interference and quite a few passengers may have objections to the audio interference!


Discord in the air over mobiles

Daily Telegraph
(Filed: 16/09/2006)

Airlines are divided over the use of mobile phones on flights, following the announcement by Ryanair last week that it will equip its planes with mobile-phone technology by the end of next year.

Air France will be first to allow in-flight calls during a six-month trial in February. Bmi and Tap Air Portugal will follow shortly after.

EasyJet, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have so far resisted introducing the technology, which has yet to be approved by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT).

Virgin Atlantic said it had no plans for mobiles, while BA said it was consulting passengers. "There is a whole world of difference in using mobiles on a mid-week 7am business flight to Paris and a 10-hour flight to Tampa in the school holidays," said a BA spokeswoman.

An EasyJet spokesman said the airline was looking at the issue, but so far feedback from travellers said that most would rather not be pestered by constant phone calls.

Ryanair's announcement may yet prove premature, if the introduction of the technology is not approved. However, the airline is confident that it will get the go-ahead. Tests have shown the technology does not interfere with aircraft equipment, but there are still concerns about interference with ground-based mobile-phone networks.

Passengers, however, appear to be divided on the issue. A recent survey by the ONAir telecommunications company of 2,500 travellers flying from Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle and Hong Kong International airports revealed that 65 per cent of people travelling for business reasons would turn their devices on during flights, and that, of these, 94 per cent would take calls and check emails in the air. But in a separate survey of 1,500 travellers conducted by Monarch Airlines, 67 per cent of passengers claimed that having to listen to other people's ringtones would be one of the most annoying inflight experiences.

Informant: Margaret E White


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