Is it allowed to use GPS on an airplane?

Some people say GPS devices only receiving signals from the satellites, nothing will be sent to the satellites, is this right?
Asked Dec 12, 2009
Edited Dec 12, 2009
If it is only a GPS device then it will only receive signals, it won't send any (if it's designed properly).
If it is part of a cell phone, then the GPS inside the phone can be read by the computer inside the cell phone and the GPS coordinates transmitted to any one just the same way one might send an SMS message or an email from a cell phone.
GPS, as with any electronic device may be used but only with permission from the crew of the aircraft. This is usually announced by the air craft crew and usually it is permitted only after the "Fasten Seat belt signs" are turned off.
Most commercial electronic devices have to pass tests to ensure that they do not leak radio signals, but ultimately there is no guarantee that your electronic device may not be damaged and leaking radio signals that could mislead the aircrafts instrumentation.
Another issue is that the air crafts skin is often made of aluminum, which may block or shield the GPS unit from receiving a signal.
Answered Dec 12, 2009

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