What's the Latest Development?
British Airways (BA) and the UK's Civil Aviation Authority have come to an agreement whereby passengers on BA flights can begin using in-flight entertainment systems from the moment they board the plane and sit in their seats to the moment the plane arrives at the gate. The decision was made after a series of trials during which BA made sure that the systems wouldn't affect planes' normal operations. The change takes effect this Saturday.
What's the Big Idea?
Ironically, BOAC, one of the airlines that eventually became part of BA, was the first major airline to introduce in-flight films to its passengers in 1970. Ever since, the window of operation for in-flight entertainment systems has always been constrained to a certain period of time -- approximately half an hour after takeoff and 20 minutes before landing -- for safety reasons. As part of the agreement, BA has also ensured that its pilots can override the system for any important safety notices. Unfortunately for those carrying their own personal entertainment systems aboard -- iPads and the like -- standard operating regulations still apply.
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