Passengers can soon use electronic devices on flights during takeoff, landing

ipad technology
You will no longer have to turn off your electronic devices during takeoff and landing.
Credit: Getty Images

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday it will allow airlines to expand the use of portable electronic devices in flight to include smartphones, tablets and e-readers, ending a long-standing ban.

“Most commercial airlines can tolerate radio interference from portable electronic devices,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said at a news conference at Reagan National Airport near Washington, D.C. ”It’s safe to read downloaded materials, like e-books, calendars and to play games.”

These activities are expected to be permitted during all phases of flight, including takeoff and landing, on the vast majority of U.S. flights, he said.

Inflight cellphone talking is not approved, Huerta said, noting that this continues to be governed by the Federal Communications Commission.

However, passengers will be able to connect with an airline’s WiFi network and can use Bluetooth accessories, such as wireless mice and headphones.

As a practical matter, cellphones should be kept in airline mode during flight, he said. Without this setting, cellphones would continue to search vainly for a signal while aloft, draining batteries.

Huerta said the guidance applies to U.S. airlines throughout their domestic and international routes. The next step is for airlines to submit plans for implementation after testing to make sure their aircraft can tolerate this kind of radio interference.

Huerta said he sought updated guidance on the matter, since the current policy was put in place about 50 years ago.

In some cases of extremely low visibility, for perhaps 1 percent of all U.S. flights, some landing systems may not be able to tolerate radio interference, and in those cases passengers should follow the advice of flight crews, he said.

Within an hour of Huerta’s announcement, Delta Air Lines said its customers would be allowed to take advantage of the new policy as soon as Friday, pending FAA approval of its plan.

All Delta aircraft have been tested to make sure they can tolerate passenger operation of personal electronic devices, Delta said in a statement.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which contributed to the FAA panel that made the recommendation, applauded the decision as it pushed for “uniform technical, operational and training standards that will allow for the safe, managed expansion of PED usage by passengers.”

The U.S. Travel Association, an industry group, praised the move as a “common-sense, win-win” policy.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NBA

Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.

MLB

Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.