FAA grants go-ahead for allowing full-flight use of mobile electronics

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The issue of being allowed to use mobile electronics on airplanes has been around for decades, pre-dating the smartphone itself. But as such gadgets become more ubiquitous, we’ve been feeling the impact of restrictions concerning just how and when we can use them all the more. We’ve brought the situation up time and time again, but when it came to actually changing rules, little progress was made. Today, however, we get hope for a future where we can keep our phones and tablets on gate-to-gate, with the FAA deciding that such operation is safe, and announcing plans to advise airlines on implementing new rules.

No, you still won’t be able to use your phone’s cellular radio in the air, but there would no longer be restrictions on simply having a smartphone or tablet powered-on (and in airplane mode) during takeoff and landing.

The value of banning such operation has been debated to death, and we’ll be incredibly happy to put the whole business behind us. Frankly, the interference arguments were a bit disingenuous (if there was even the slightest legitimate reason to think such electronics were merely capable of harming planes, they’d be flat-out banned from being brought on-board), and the “so you pay attention to flight attendants” reasoning ignored dozens of other potential (yet still permitted) distractions.

All we can say is: about time.

Source: Washington Post

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!