FAA seeks public comments on in-flight use of electronics | iLounge News


FAA seeks public comments on in-flight use of electronics

Users frustrated with the Federal Aviation Administration’s long-standing restrictions on in-flight access to iPods, iPhones, and iPads can now easily petition the government and airlines to change the regulations, thanks to a call for comments. The FAA has requested comments on policies regarding the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) during flight. As the FAA notes about recent PEDs, “Some devices do not transmit or receive any signals but generate low-power, radio frequency emissions,” which might interfere with aircraft navigation and communication systems. However, the FAA plans to assess whether widespread use of PEDs will actually cause any safety issues.

Under current regulations, all PEDs are actually prohibited from use during flight, except for voice recorders, hearing aids, pacemakers and electric shavers. However, operators are permitted to allow the use of PEDs that do not cause interference with navigation or communication systems on the aircraft.

The FAA seeks comments from passengers, in addition to aircraft operators, pilots, PED manufacturers, and PED designers. To register your views or provide information, email your comments to [email protected] or send them online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

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I welcome this review, hopefully the days of being able to use my iPad or Kindle during take off and landing are not too far away.
Surely a modern plane can handle these?!

Posted by Cyberman on August 28, 2012 at 2:57 PM (CDT)


I’d be willing to bet that 90% of electronics are never actually powered down. People hit the sleep button and stick it in their pocket/bag. If there was any danger at all there’d be planes falling from the sky daily.

Can’t even remember the last time I bothered to actually power down anything.

Posted by Code Monkey on August 29, 2012 at 12:08 AM (CDT)


I suspect Code Monkey is spot on with what he says, how many people power off. Equally, I suspect many people just use sleep/standby without applying flight safe mode.
Hopefully the FAA (and CAA) can carry out a proper detailed test and evaluation and come up with sensible guidelines for airlines and indeed aircraft manufacturers.

Posted by Cyberman on August 29, 2012 at 3:33 AM (CDT)


It is great to know that I’m fine operating an electric shaver during takeoff & landing!  You know, the thing with the spinning motor that spews RF noise that’ll jamb a transistor radio. I’m usually getting worried about stubble around takeoff time.  But that Kindle of mine (which doesn’t even draw power from its battery unless the page is changed) is going to kill us all. It’s probably less of a hazard than a paperback - less risk of fire ;)

Posted by mwilgar on August 29, 2012 at 12:12 PM (CDT)


@4: The e-Ink eBook readers is a particularly genius one isn’t it :-)

As a rational adult, I hate having to explain some of our culture’s rules to my kids: Look, there is NO basis for this rule whatsoever, might as well have a rule against witchcraft, faeries, and smuggling space aliens as well, however, it is the rule and so we’ve all got to put our stuff away. Yes, yes, I know what I said, the rule is based on nothing at all but some theoretical risk that has never ever been demonstrated under any circumstances, but just put your toy away.

Posted by Code Monkey on August 29, 2012 at 3:25 PM (CDT)


I have emailed the FAA and also the CAA, will be interesting to hear their responses, especially regarding eReaders like the Kindle.

Posted by Cyberman on August 30, 2012 at 4:14 AM (CDT)


A Pilot friend of mine suggests that the only reason that electronic devices are not allowed during takeoff and landing is that the crew wants your complete attention during these times since they are the most dangerous parts of the flight.  A more cynical friend thinks that the sky mall folks are paying the airlines to do this so they get more eyes on their sales magazines.

I think it is because the crew doesn’t want my bratty kids fighting over the iPod Touch while the captain is making announcements…

Posted by boomer0127 on August 30, 2012 at 10:25 PM (CDT)

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