The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will allow airline passengers to use some personal electronics during takeoffs and landings – but the new rules will not take effect intermediately.
Regular flyers are very familiar with the standard announcements saying all electronics must be turned off during takeoffs and landings. This despite no evidence ever being presented that personal electronics cause any interference with modern avionics.
And we’ve all seen the ‘cheaters,’ discreetly trying to take pictures of a takeoff/landing with their digital camera, or keeping their iPod rolling.
There’ll be no need to hide them any longer after the new rules take affect.
But it won’t be an electronic free-for-all.
The rule banning internet connections when the plane is less than 10,000 feet high will remain in place, and flyers will be asked to put their devices into ‘airline mode’ throughout the flight.
The ban on voice calls during a flight will remain intact too (thank goodness).
However, e-readers, tablets, music players, and cameras will be usable from gate to gate, as long as they are not connected to the internet under 10,000 feet.
Airlines will need to meet certain requirements before they will be allowed to fly by the new rules. It’s expected that most will be in compliance by the end of this year.
‘course, flight attendants have been heard to complain that no one listens to their safety announcements – this ought to make that issue worse by a factor of 10!