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Easing Electronic Use on Airplanes

Are you one of those travelers who wait till the very last second before turning off your electronic devices before take off?

Perhaps updating your Facebook status with “Aloooooha, Hawaii!” or posting a classic in-flight selfie, there’s always something to justify your ignoring the flight attendant’s warnings. That is, until you start to feel the plane rolling.

Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits use of electronics below 10,000 feet. It interferes with aircraft radios and electrical systems, making an accident more likely. The FAA, however, recognizes how “intensely interested” passengers are in using personal electronics aboard an aircraft, according to a statement, which is why they have been working to ease restrictions on airline passengers using such devices.

Most listen to music, play games, read books or watch movies to help pass time. But with the influx of different technologies, there’s no telling which devices actually are hazardous to flight and radio tower communication and navigation. That’s why U.S. airlines have simply barred all electronic use rather than specific ones.

The FAA tasked a government-industry group to look into the matter closer. They will be testing such devices and must make a decision by September – if it’s safe to lift certain restrictions or to keep the law as status quo.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Jun 23, 2013