This proposal has been created for a couple of important yet straight-forward reasons. If consumers can re-use their existing chargers, this would help to reduce e-waste. In addition, a common charger could also result in financial savings for consumers as the port would be compatible with multiple devices across different brands.
For the European Commission’s directive to become mandatory, it will need to be approved by EU member states and EU lawmakers. After this, manufacturers will have 24 months to make the changes necessary to comply with the new rules. The parliament supported new rules on a common charger in 2020, and this could be an indication that this new directive will move forward.
Although the positive impact for consumers will be felt further down the road, manufacturers are already embracing USB-C charging ports in new tablet models. As a result, we can already see how this shift is impacting the aviation industry. Many electronic flight bag (EFB) solutions, which allow pilots to use a tablet as an EFB in the cockpit during all phases of flight, are only compatible with USB-A, Lightning or USB micro-B charging ports. We have seen some operators already responding to this change. Airlines have upgraded their fleet with a USB-C EFB solution to ensure that operations continue to run smoothly. If using new tablets, airlines will need to switch to a power solution that will provide the right support: the installation of a smart converter and outlet that is powerful enough to fully charge the tablet during flight.