FAA Finally Allowing Devices to Stay Powered On at Takeoff?

It’s an annoyance that anyone who flies has to deal with, powering down your devices at take off and landing. The polite but firm voice of the flight attendant telling you “All the way off, please!”. It’s a pain more than ever now, as most of us travel with electronics to entertain us, or to get work done while we fly. Now, it seems like the Federal Aviation Administration is finally poised to make a change to the rule and allow folks to keep most of their devices on.

A group of legislators has been working with a special FAA advisory panel, pressuring for a change in the rules around electronics on planes. Now The New York Times reports that the panel is going to recommend the restrictions around electronic devices on flights  be loosened a bit.

Assuming the recommendation is followed, we could be seeing a change as soon as 2014!

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has been at the forefront of the push to change the restrictions. Her office has heard a ton of complaints from constituents who want to continue to use their devices without interruption on flights.

“The public is growing increasingly skeptical of prohibitions on the use of many electronic devices during the full duration of a flight, while at the same time using such devices in increasing numbers,” McCaskill wrote in a letter to the FAA last year. “For example, a traveler can read a paper copy of a newspaper throughout a flight, but is prohibited from reading the same newspaper for major portions of the flight when reading it on an e-reader.”

The new rules are unlikely to allow folks to make calls, text or use mobile data. But e readers, mp3 players, tablets, laptops and mobile phones in airplane mode should be ok to keep powered on during the whole flight, from takeoff to landing.

[Via: New York Times]

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