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Home > Air Travel > Can I use my handheld GPS on a plane?
Can I use my handheld GPS on a plane?
Flying - Air Travel
Friday, 01 October 2010 02:51
 
Hi Captain Lim,

I read your article on AirAsia Travel 3Sixty yesterday and I would like to ask you one small question.
 
Since I got a small handheld GPS unit inside my car (which can play videos, music, pictures, etc), can I bring it along the airplane and use it just to play my favorite movies or to kill some time during the flight?
 
Will it interfere with the flight navigation system even though I do not turn the GPS function ON?

I really hope you can help me on this, coz my next flight is just around the corner.
 
Thank you so much Captain!
  
Khairul Amrie.

Hi Khairul,

Sorry, I have been very busy. Regarding your question, here is the answer:

GPS receivers are known to radiate minute energy from the computer circuits inside the system whereas a cell phone radiates a significant amount of such energy.  Hence, cell phones do have the potential to interfere with the avionics equipment on board the plane. On the other hand, GPS receivers are very low power devices and their use are generally permitted during the cruise, usually above 10,000 feet but not during the take off and landing.

However some airlines still do not permit the use of GPS receivers as their safety officials are more cautious than others fearing that some future equipment may incur harmful interference from the GPS. Once they open the gate it would be difficult to close it.

So even though the interference potential of handheld GPS receiver is minimal you should never operate a GPS on board except in compliance with the directives of the flight crew which may vary from airlines to airlines.

Currently, AirAsia policy is that GPS are prohibited to be used in flight.
 
GPS on a plane!

Using a GPS on a plane
 

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