FAA Prepares to Ease Restrictions for Gadget Use on Planes [WSJ]

According to a new report, the restrictions during takeoff and landing will loosen

By on June 21st, 2013 08:01 GMT

For the longest time, people traveling by plane have been making noise over the restrictions that the Federal Aviation Administration has imposed upon gadget use on airplanes.

On the grounds that they cause wireless interference that would potentially jeopardize the flight and plane communications, cellphones and, more recently, tablets and anything else with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support have to be shut off, at least during takeoff and landing.

Basically, until the plane is above 10,000 feet in the air, electronics better be inactive.

Due to the pressure from all sides, however, the FAA is preparing to take down some of the more radical, as some view them, measures.

Soon people may no longer need to turn off their smartphones after strapping their seat belts, according to The Wall Street Journal.

They will be allowed, instead, to use the gadgets they have on them as soon as the cabin door has been closed.

There will be differences though, probably depending on how much the items tap into the electromagnetic spectrum.

While e-readers, especially with Wi-Fi turned off, will have no restrictions, smartphones and tablets will be a bit more restricted, albeit not to the same extent as now.

Don't hold your breath yet though. The final, formal decision needs to be taken first, and that won't happen until a final version of the FAA's recommendations are submitted. Thus, there won't be any changes until September.

The WSJ report doesn't mention cellphone calls placed from within the plane. Right now, all in-flight calls are banned, but the FAA may change something about this as well.

All in all, we can be glad that, unlike 50 years ago, gadgets stay within a tight range of frequencies, and planes have become much more tolerant of devices that would otherwise tamper with navigation systems and onboard radios.

Comments