FAA advisory panel recommends use of personal gadgets during takeoff and landing

FAA advisory panel recommends use of personal gadgets during takeoff and landing
According to a report from the AP, a 28 member FAA advisory committee recommended that airline passengers be allowed to use a wide array of personal electronic devices during takeoff and landing. The list of devices includes smartphones, tablets and eReaders. If true, this report doesn't really surprise anyone since back in March 2012, the FAA had announced that it was going to seek wider usage of personal gadgets on board aircraft. The FCC chimed in last December, asking the FAA to approve the use of handsets, tablets and eReaders during takeoff and landing.

The FCC prevents the use of personal gadgets on an airliner until cruising altitude (10,000 feet) has been reached. But it has become obvious that the use of these devices during takeoff and landing do not cause interference that will quickly put a plane into a tailspin from which it cannot recover. Furthermore, the FAA has recently allowed certain airlines to replace certain heavy, paper charts and maps used by pilots in the cockpit, with an Apple iPad. If a tablet can be used in the cockpit without planes falling from the sky, they are safe for passenger use is the theory coming from some supporters.

The recommendation made by the advisory committee would still require gadget owners to shut down all the radios on their device by using Airplane Mode. In other words, no one will be able to use the internet, download data or make and take calls. But the device could be used to read a book, watch YouTube videos loaded to your device before boarding the plane and listen to music. The new plans could be implemented in early 2014 if the FAA doesn't bog it down by requiring carrier by carrier approval. But Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, a critic of the current regulations, says that if the FCC starts stalling, she will introduce legislation to remove the current rules "swiftly".


source: AP via SlashGear

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9 Comments

1. x7black7x

Posts: 118; Member since: Feb 19, 2012

i have been using my phone on board!! (airplane mode) none of the flight attendants have said anything to me!! in international flights too i've used my tab for watching movies n phone for listening music! but if it is official now! its even better :D

3. james004

Posts: 486; Member since: May 15, 2013

4. x7black7x

Posts: 118; Member since: Feb 19, 2012

yes! truly said!

2. james004

Posts: 486; Member since: May 15, 2013

Dont understand why using electronics was every restricted in the first place. planes never crashed by those home electronics. planes work on much different frequencies.

6. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

I guess the main reason was because of terrorists who might use it as a exploit , some older aircraft can be hacked using a modified Android device which can take over the autopilot system .

7. PaulNotFromSweden

Posts: 55; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

I work for an airplane manufacturer. Use of these devices has been restricted because they have not been proven to not interfere with the airplane systems. And that is the standard. And since there are tens of thousands of potential devices to test, with hundreds more coming out every year, it is nearly impossible to test all possible devices. Airplane systems are shielded to some extent, but without conducting thorough EMI testing, there is no way to say conclusively that there won't be any interference. Therefore, these devices have to be considered unsafe by FAA rule. Any electronic device on an airplane must be tested to these same standards, including in-flight entertainment systems installed in the seats, galley ovens, light fixtures, etc. Testing every hand-held electronic device from cell phones to tablets to five dollar electronic battleship games would be impossible for airplane manufacturers due to the time and expense for the testing. Unless the FAA changes the rule for how to test or whether to test, these devices cannot be used safely on airplanes during the critical phases of flight in the airport environment.

5. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

I'm pretty sure that if the phone's on flight mode it won't affect anything.

8. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Proud of Claire, one of the few sane politicians in Missouri :)

9. TattooedMailman

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 31, 2013

I have ignored or simply forgotten when they would make the announcement to turn off personal electronics. Needless to say the plane didn't crash because my Facebook was syncing to my phone during take off

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