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Mobile Phones and In-Flight WiFi Coming to Chinese Flights in 2016

Posted: 10/1/2014 3:05 pm

Airline passengers could be allowed to use their mobile phones throughout the entire flight when travelling on Chinese airlines, Beijing Times reported on September 29. The new functionality is expected to be rolled out in 2016.

The report came on heels of a decision by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to lift a ban that prohibits passengers from using mobile phones during flights.

Passengers travelling with Chinese airlines are currently required to keep their mobile phones off for the entire flight to stop the devices from emitting radio signals that could, at least theoretically, interfere with the aircraft’s navigation system. This means even airplane mode is not allowed, although many countries in Europe and the Americas permit their travellers to put devices in airplane mode during flights.

The new rule, if passed would allow travellers to use their phones in airplane mode when flying at or above 3,000 meters. Zhou Hong, an aviation expert, said the new bill will likely pass.

The loosening on phone use during flights could also pave the way for onboard WiFi services in the country, the report said. Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines are testing inflight WiFi systems and phone calls. The country’s telecommunication companies are also working with Chinese airlines to study the possibility of making phone calls during flights, said He Guili, director of Tai’er Lab under the Ministry of Information and Industry Technology.

Photos: College Humor 



Watch Out, Mo Yan: A Six-Year Old Writes Better Than You!

Posted: 05/27/2014 8:00 am

Tiger Mom is so out. Behold the new poster boy for extreme parenting, He Liesheng — better known by his moniker, Eagle Dad, claims that his son, six-year-old Duoduo, has published a book that is much better than any book written by Chinese writer Mo Yan, the winner of Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012.

Duoduo at his book tour stop in Guangzhou. Photo credit: Yangcheng Evening News

We have to hand it to him because perhaps the term “humble” was never in his dictionary. Not only did he bash Mo Yan by saying Duoduo writes better than the literary giant with his pictorial book entitled I Am the Naked Running Brother, but he also announced his ambitions during his son’s Guangzhou book tour to send his fourth-grade son to Tsinghua University when he reaches the age of ten, Yangcheng Evening News reported.

If this plan is realized, Duoduo would become the youngest student to ever enter the top university in China, whose graduates include former premier Zhu Rongji and hundreds of the country’s best and brightest.

The eagle dad has not been short of controversies. He first made international headlines in 2012 when he forced his then four year-old son to run naked in his yellow underwear outside in the snow in New York’s winter, one of the many extreme parenting methods he has since embraced to train his son to be tougher. When interviewed by CNN, he said, ”Like an eagle, I push my child to the limit so he can learn how to fly”.

Duoduo running in New York’s winter. Photo credit: Sina

The same year, the pair also made headlines when he and his son got stranded on Japan’s Mount Fuji at 11,000 feet when trying to climb the 12,388 foot mountain. Despite the failed attempt, Duoduo managed to unfurl a banner which read: “Diaoyu Islands belong to China! I want to land on the Diaoyu Islands!” A year later, at the age of five, Duoduo piloted a light aircraft on his own for 35 minutes because his father wanted him to “become braver by flying a plane and develop his curiosity and desire to explore,” Global Times reported.

This year, Duoduo will be busy travelling to different cities to promote his first book, and preparing for the second, third and fourth books to come. His father claims Duoduo writes every day, and each book is ready for publishing.

Perhaps by the age of 10, we will have a child prodigy at Tsinghua University. But four years from now, Duoduo surely will have had to accomplish more tasks, likely extreme ones, assigned by his dad. In other words, four more years robbed from his childhood.

Duoduo and his dad He Liesheng, aka the Eagle Dad. Photo credit: Sina

Home page image: Yangcheng Evening News


Naked guy gets loose on airport runway, forcing flights to be halted for over an hour

Posted: 02/19/2013 3:00 pm

Now you can add a naked man running around the airfield to a long list of potential problems that could affect your flight.

A naked man managed to breach security and went on a drug-fueled run across the airport apron at Nanchang Airport in Jingxi province last Thursday evening, forcing a plane from Guangzhou to u-turn back to Baiyun.

The man’s reason for the run? He was upset after a row with his family.

Needless to say he was too close to the airport runway for the liking of airport bosses and flights were suspended for an hour, affecting nearly a dozen flights in the peak of the big Spring Festival getaway.

Shanghai Daily has this:

The intruder, who had been taking drugs, was caught at 10:44pm, authorities said.

The man was a villager living nearby and just had a quarrel with his family, a preliminary investigation showed.

The man was fined and detained for 20 days yesterday because he illegally crossed the airport perimeter, as well as taking drugs, authorities said.

China Daily adds:

The airport’s management authority decided to suspend operations for safety reasons.

The man was found squatting in a ditch an hour later.

This is not the first security incident of its kind. A similar case has occurred at the airport before:

An elderly villager was detained for five days after he illegally crossed fences at the airport in October. He said he just wanted to see the aircraft up close.

Serious breaches have occurred at Guangzhou and Shanghai, two of China’s biggest airports, after bad weather causing delays forced passengers to take matters into their own hands last year.

However, this embarrassing episode raises serious doubts over current security arrangements in place across China’s airports with the apparent ease of getting on to an airfield.

Adam Minter
makes an excellent point.

Image: Danny Lee

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