US mulls changes to personal electronics on flights

Sep 23, 2013
Passengers wait in line for a flight at Miami International Airport on April 16, 2013 in Miami, Florida.

US aviation officials are considering easing restrictions on the use of personal electronics like smartphones, laptop computers and e-readers aboard airplanes, a spokesman said Monday.

An is meeting behind closed doors on Tuesday and Wednesday to finalize its recommendations for the Federal Aviation Administration by the end of this month, according to the FAA.

"The FAA recognizes consumers are intensely interested in the use of personal electronics aboard aircraft," a spokesman said in an email to AFP.

"That is why we tasked a government-industry group to examine the safety issues and the feasibility of changing the current restrictions."

According to current regulations, passengers are barred from using for the entire flight, and are typically asked to turn off these devices for takeoff and landing.

The ban on sending and receiving emails, making calls and using Wi-Fi is based on concerns that the communications might interfere with a plane's .

Experts say many of these concerns are outdated, particularly since the FAA last year allowed airlines to replace paper flight manuals in the cockpit with .

Phone calls aboard planes are banned by a separate entity, the Federal Communications Commission, and would not be subject to change by the FAA.

Senator Claire McCaskill, a leading advocate for wider use of personal electronics in flight, wrote the FAA in 2012 urging a policy change.

"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," she said.

"The fear of devices that operate on electricity is dated, at best."

The FAA convened the advisory panel last year to review the evidence and update the rules. A final recommendation is expected by the end of September.

"We will wait for the group to finish its work before we determine next steps," the FAA spokesman said.

Explore further: Shopping 'mega-jams' have brought cities to a halt for decades

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FAA moving toward easing electronic device use

Jun 21, 2013

The U.S. government is moving toward easing restrictions on airline passengers using electronic devices to listen to music, play games, read books, watch movies and work during taxiing, takeoffs and landings.

Airline passengers may get a break on electronics

Mar 19, 2012

The government is taking a tentative step toward making it easier for airlines to allow passengers to use personal electronic devices such as tablets, e-readers and music players during takeoffs and landings.

Pilots cleared to use iPad during takeoff, landing

Dec 15, 2011

Apple's iPad has been cleared for use by American Airlines pilots during takeoff and landing in a move that could make bulky flight bags crammed with manuals and charts a thing of the past.

Recommended for you

Report: FBI's anthrax investigation was flawed

Dec 19, 2014

The FBI used flawed scientific methods to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 others, federal auditors said Friday in a report sure to fuel skepticism over the FBI's ...

Study reveals mature motorists worse at texting and driving

Dec 18, 2014

A Wayne State University interdisciplinary research team in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has made a surprising discovery: older, more mature motorists—who typically are better drivers in ...

Napster co-founder to invest in allergy research

Dec 17, 2014

(AP)—Napster co-founder Sean Parker missed most of his final year in high school and has ended up in the emergency room countless times because of his deadly allergy to nuts, shellfish and other foods.

LA mayor plans 7,000 police body cameras in 2015

Dec 16, 2014

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan Tuesday to equip 7,000 Los Angeles police officers with on-body cameras by next summer, making LA's police department the nation's largest law enforcement agency to move ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.