The FAA May Soon Allow Electronic Device Use During Takeoff

Illustration for article titled The FAA May Soon Allow Electronic Device Use During Takeoff

Everybody hates having to stop reading ebooks, listening to music and playing Angry Birds during take-off. But it's not a fact of life; the FAA is rethinking its policy on using electronic devices during takeoff and landing. About. Bloody. Time.

According to a report by the New York Times, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is planning to take a "fresh look" at the ban on using electronic devices during taxi, takeoff, and landing. It is, however, not budging on phones; any changes will be for tablets, ereaders, MP3 players and the like.

Currently, every single device that needs to be approved for use on planes has to be tested on an empty flight —one at a time. What's more, that has to be done on every plane in an airline's fleet. No wonder no airline bothers changing the status quo; it would cost a fortune.


So the FAA is planning to change that system, by working with "manufacturers, consumer electronic associations, aircraft and avionics manufacturers, airlines, pilots, flight attendants and passengers". It's six years since the FAA inspected the process—in which time we've seen pilots using iPads and the percentage of passenger bags containing Kindles rocket—but this time we might actually see a change. [New York Times; Image: Derrick Coetzee]

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That is completely missing the point of turning them off/not using them during T/O and landing. It's not that they interfere with the aircraft (they don't) but is to have the passengers attention focused a little bit more on their surroundings instead of on a 4 inch screen playing angry birds.

This is so they are more alert when, however unlikely, an emergency situation develops and the aircraft needs to be evacuated. Same reason why they dim the cabin lights during T/O and landing at night-time, lets your eyes get used to the dark, making it easier/quicker for you when an evacuation is needed.