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I love running GPS on my Smartphone - using Mapopolis on an e200 with a Bluetooth GPS (only way to go - works will all my devices) at the moment.. :D



I wouldn't be using a BT system on a commercial airline. Each airline is responsible for establishing the rules on their aircraft but are provide guidance by the FAA in http://www1.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/ACNumber/72F58116704FC3D986256A71006ED5B0?OpenDocument

Intentional transmitters are targeted for prohibition, and most every airline I have been on indicates that in their in flight publication. Most comment on radios along with cell phones when they discuss what needs to be turned off, for take off and landing, and what must remain off for the duration. Regardles of whether you think, or have scientific evidence, that BT, or WiFi or cell phones, or your RC tank, can affect aircraft systems, they are generally prohibited. Enforcably so.

Personally I think that's a shame. It makes my BT headset somewhat less usefull to me, but that's the rules. Wanted to say that before we had a gob of folks dragging their BT GPSs out for their next flight.

Dale Coffing

Sven... you make such a good point. I just never think of it being an issue since it is such short range.

Thanks for the link to document. Good reading. I find it a little wierd to realize that they still haven't determined that a cell phone is actually dangerous or else it would really be banned.


On my last flight to Seattle, they even announced: no GPS devices are to be used in-flight. Guess they caught you!

Dave Evans

Geeez.....I hope the pilot doesn't have his GPS turned on...No wait I hope he does....No wait I hope not...No wait....Hmmm..... let me think about this for a minute....Do I want to get lost, or crash and burn. ;)

Justin Russak

Wow! I didn't know that it would work. I would have tried it (I have a flight on Thursday) but not now. Thanks!

Eric Hicks

Wow I always use my bluetooth gps on flights. I've even used my garmin gps on flights. Transmission is a tricky thing, all electronic devices wiith digital circuitry transmits, it may be very small amount but they all do. It would be nice if they come out with a study on this but different cell phone technologies ause different issues.


It's true everything electronic potentially transmits, but radio receivers, whether it be FM, or GPS, or others, have a higher potential of doing so at a frequency that might be a problem. That's due to the frequency generated by the device that is used to downconvert the radio signal to an intermediate signal for processing. That's why most airlines prohibit FM radios. Things like CD players, gameboys, and even laptops, don't intentionally generate a very high frequency signal. At least they didn't use too. I wonder sometimes about the PC running at 2.4GHz. That is after all, the same frequency your microwave cooks food at.

Things that are obviously intended to transmit at radio frequencies, like walkie talkies, remote control cars, are pretty much taboo. I would have to assume that setting up an ad-hoc Wifi connection with your buddy in a different row, would probabaly be a no no. I would have to think a BT GPS, because of the tranmitter, would definately be discouraged. A regular GPS would probably at the discretion of the crew.


I have taken my Garmin GPS on several flights, but as I usually sit in a aisle seat, I was never able to try it. However, I was on a charter flight from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbor, The Bahamas last summer and overheard the co-pilot ask the pilot if he had brought his GPS. The pilot said that he had and then said, pointing to the GPS installed in the instrument panel, "that one sure doesn't work". Made me glad that I had mine in my bag.

Luis Gomez

I allways use my CF SysOnChip GPS with my iPaq on all flights from Colombia to Ecuador or Peru. So far I'm still alive, there is no problem whatsoever with all the avionics, beside a GPS does not do any harm to the plane's electronics. It's a fact! just ask around.


Actually is IS okay to use GPS on commercial aircraft. Each airline may have different policies, however. Southwest, for example, says that you can use them right in it's on-board magazine. But anything that transmits - like cell phones, or BT, is still a no-no for the most part.

Eric Hicks

I'm worried one day I'll turn on bluetooth and my device asks me how it wants me to connect to the plane :o that would be scary.

Gray Strickland



Please forgive me if it sounds like I am biting the hand that feeds me (and for FREE too), but I have to ask:

1. Why do you have a link for www.mobilepassion.com on this site (pocketpcpassion.com), but it opens a page at EasySpace.Com saying that the domain is hosted, but no page is available?

2. Why no forums of the style that you used to have at pocketpcpassion.com? The BC (before crash) fora were, as you know well, very active. I'd guess that you had over 15,000 posts when the meltdown occurred. I can understand why the old posts are no longer available, but why do you not have a forum with separate topics like you used to have?

3. Why was pocketpcpassion.com down for months? With all due respect, nobody believes the message about that was posted for MONTHS about upgrading the operating system.

The old site had more useful information in one place than any other Windows CE / Pocket PC / Windows Mobile site -- more than any 10 other sites combined. The new site, while pretty, is not nearly as *useful.* In fact, I couldn't even post this as a new topic (so far as I could find, anyway).

Sorry to bite the hand, but it had to be said....


Gray M. Strickland
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Frank McPherson

I got to wonder, if the FCC can approve wireless data, presumably Wi-Fi, on airplanes, why wouldn't Bluetooth be ok? They are basically working on the same frequencies and transmit and receive radio.

See http://www.infosyncworld.com/news/n/5639.html


To start with, the FCC has some input on whether or not they will allow it, but the FAA is the body that is concerned with aircraft safety. There hae already been overseas airlines tests of inflight WiFi, and it seems to be safe and practical...and potentially a big revenue generater. That point is likely what will drive the issue. The concept has been that the airline will act as an onboard ISP, so to speak, and you pay like you do at some hotels. you link to a local (onboard) AP and there is a link from the plane to the ground, possibly via satellite.

I do think you are right, that if an airline is offerring WiFi connectivity, it would be hard pressed to explain banning BT. At the monment though, it is still just an FCC conceptual OK. They don't have the authority to say you CAN use WiFi on an aircraft. They just removed one of the no votes.

Dave Evans

"I got to wonder, if the FCC can approve wireless data, presumably Wi-Fi, on airplanes, why wouldn't Bluetooth be ok? They are basically working on the same frequencies and transmit and receive radio".

Frank, I would assume this is the case because no one can make money of Bluetooth, so no one is pushing hard enough for it. With WiFi there's lots of money to be made...so lets get this done ;)



I have the exact same questions as G. Strickland asks. Interestingly, no responses to any of them. Not even an acknowledgement?! Out of sight, out of mind?



There is not a problem with bluetooth in particular. Infact, the cellphone in flight mode still has bluetooth enabled. Since the GPS is a reciever and not a transmitter then it is not out of compliance for banned devices either. I read a study by Boeing which determined that in a fraction of test flights the active cell phone did cause intermittant inteference with the autopilot and on some comercial flights, there was interference but it was from an undetermined source (wasnt known which device on the plane caused the interference). In all of these cases the pilot was able to pilot the plane safely. The reason that all electronic devices are required to be turned off for the first 10 minutes or 10,000 ft (depending on who you fly) is due to the fact that all of these devices DO emit some power at different frequencies and if it did cause a problem close the the ground it could be catestrophic.

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