19/12/2013 04:24 GMT | Updated 19/12/2013 04:25 GMT

British Airways Is First European Airline To Allow Electronic Devices To Be Used During Takeoff And Landing

A British Airways Airbus A380 jet liner performs its demonstration flight during the 50th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

British Airways has become the first European airline to allow electronic devices to be used during takeoff and landing.

Following the decision by regulators in the US to ease restrictions on on the use of in-flight gadgets, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority recently decided to follow suit.

Earlier in December the CAA said:

"Individual European airlines have discretion on whether to use this guidance to change their current policy… The expanded use of electronic devices will still be subject to flight crew approval on each flight, as in certain circumstances, their use might still need to be restricted. Any instructions from the aircraft crew must be followed by passengers at all times."

And now BA has become the first to do just that, announcing that its customers will be able to use gadgets (in flight mode) all the time they're on board.

Capt Ian Pringle, the company's flight training manager, said of the changes:

"We know that our customers want to use their hand-held electronic devices more, so this will be very welcome news for them.

“The easing of restrictions will provide an average of 30 minutes additional personal screen time. With around 300 people on a long-haul flight that will mean a combined total of approximately 150 hours extra viewing, reading or working."

There are still restrictions in place, though, as the CAA made clear:

"The use of devices that transmit electro-magnetic signals, such as mobile phones for voice calls and texts, and WiFi enabled laptop computers remain prohibited in flight unless the aircraft has been equipped with a controlling system. Aircraft crew will specifically advise which devices may be used during such flights."