FAA might expand in-flight portable electronics usage

The Federal Aviation Administration is forming a government-industry group to find out if portable electronic devices can be used safely during airplane flights. This means that passengers might eventually be allowed to use their smartphones and other portable electronics with less restrictions during flights, such as during takeoff and landing.

As anyone who has flown on an airplane knows, smartphones and other electronic devices are not allowed to be used mid-flight and especially during the critical takeoff and landing procedures, in case of radio frequency interference with flight equipment. Of course, with the huge range and variety of different personal electronic devices, surely some would be okay to use, some of the time. For example, some airplane pilots use iPads during taxi and takeoff.

With the formation of the study group, the FAA is planning to find out what devices might be safe to use, and when. However, one thing that can be ruled out immediately is making voice calls on cell phones during flight, which will not be considered at all.

"With so many different types of devices available, we recognize that this is an issue of consumer interest," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Safety is our highest priority, and we must set appropriate standards as we help the industry consider when passengers can use the latest technologies safely during a flight."

The group, which will be established in the coming months, will meet for six months and then make its recommendations to the FAA.

Source: FAA

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on most new devices there is flight mode, but all devices are screened before boarding. they will tell you when it is safe to use and when to not.

on most new devices there is flight mode, but all devices are screened before boarding. they will tell you when it is safe to use and when to not.

on most new devices there is flight mode, but all devices are screened before boarding. they will tell you when it is safe to use and when to not.

Study sounds like a waste of money to me. Seriously does everyone really NEED to be able to use electronic devices all the time. And unless they can give the okay to ALL devices it would be too difficult to keep track of what is allowed. I don't expect the flight attendants know the difference between the thousands of devices out there!

i fly every week and never turn my laptop, phone, or iPad off.

the laptop and iPad are in sleep mode, and the phone i just put on flight mode, but it never gets turned off.

it's totally fine, and i've talked to many other people that just don't bother any more... it happens all the time, if it really were a big deal planes would be dropping out of the sky all over the ****ing place.

I think the main thing that was holding this back is the sail of on-board entertainment. If they allowed people to use their devices during a flight, then people will not buy the "Safe" entertainment.

There are some hospitals in the UK that ban the use of mobile phones and other electronic devices, and others that are quite laxed on this policy. But i tent to find that the ones that do ban all devices have an elaberet (and exspencive) entertainment/tv/phone hub on etch bed, usually ran by a third party. One of the nurses even told me that non of the money goes to the NHS or the hospital.

I guess allot of it comes down to the contract that the airline/hospital has with their entertainment providers, and if the contract states that they must prohibit the use of other electronic communication/entertainment devices.

About flipping time. I remember reading an article a few years ago that they did a small study into this and found it had no effect on airplanes at all...

It doesn't. However if Delta, for example, was to allow people to use phones on board planes they would have to send all of their planes to the FAA to get certified. So at the end of the day it just comes down to money.

-Razorfold said,
It doesn't. However if Delta, for example, was to allow people to use phones on board planes they would have to send all of their planes to the FAA to get certified. So at the end of the day it just comes down to money.

I'd heard that the equipment is very sensitive and can be easily disrupted by signals, however when it is fitted to aircraft it is properly shielded which is what makes the difference.
If there is a problem with that shielding I guess there could be issues, but these days I would have though we would have perfected the art of building good reliable planes which are well maintained

"As anyone who has flown on an airplane knows, smartphones and other electronic devices are not allowed to be used mid-flight and especially during the critical takeoff and landing procedure"

Since when? I've always been able to use electronics mid-flight. Once the seatbelt sign is off after take-off, you can use whatever you want, so long as it doesn't transmit a signal of any type.

Take-off and landing? It's like a 5 minute wait from the time you leave the ground, till you can use them, and about 20 minutes prior to landing. It's really not a big deal. Unless in the US you can't use them at all.

I quite often use my phone, tablet, laptop or whatever I want on a plane. It's been like this in Australia and NZ since I remember. And I'm pretty sure it's the same deal on US carriers.

Nashy said,
"As anyone who has flown on an airplane knows, smartphones and other electronic devices are not allowed to be used mid-flight and especially during the critical takeoff and landing procedure"

Since when? I've always been able to use electronics mid-flight. Once the seatbelt sign is off after take-off, you can use whatever you want, so long as it doesn't transmit a signal of any type.

Take-off and landing? It's like a 5 minute wait from the time you leave the ground, till you can use them, and about 20 minutes prior to landing. It's really not a big deal. Unless in the US you can't use them at all.

I quite often use my phone, tablet, laptop or whatever I want on a plane. It's been like this in Australia and NZ since I remember. And I'm pretty sure it's the same deal on US carriers.

it's pretty much the same everywhere else. however, they usually always say that any sort of mobile phone is not allowed to be on EVEN on airplane mode. so part of their pre-takeoff that phones have to remain off during the entire flight, and that other allowed devices can be turned on after the seat belt sign is off after take off.

Julius Caro said,

it's pretty much the same everywhere else. however, they usually always say that any sort of mobile phone is not allowed to be on EVEN on airplane mode. so part of their pre-takeoff that phones have to remain off during the entire flight, and that other allowed devices can be turned on after the seat belt sign is off after take off.

So long as it was in flight mode before being turned off, you can use your mobile on board an aircraft here.

Most flights between our major hubs you are able to use your phone while taxiing to the gate too.

Julius Caro said,

it's pretty much the same everywhere else. however, they usually always say that any sort of mobile phone is not allowed to be on EVEN on airplane mode. so part of their pre-takeoff that phones have to remain off during the entire flight, and that other allowed devices can be turned on after the seat belt sign is off after take off.

Huh? They just ask you to turn them off/airplane mode. You can still use them for music and videos. Of course a lot of flights these days have wifi so if you have a phone that can use wifi while still in airplane mode then you're fine.

The issue with phones is the radio transmission. Specifically the 800MHz band. For some reason they can't seem to think logically and shield the aircraft's systems from radio interference.

KCRic said,
Huh? They just ask you to turn them off/airplane mode. You can still use them for music and videos. Of course a lot of flights these days have wifi so if you have a phone that can use wifi while still in airplane mode then you're fine.

The issue with phones is the radio transmission. Specifically the 800MHz band. For some reason they can't seem to think logically and shield the aircraft's systems from radio interference.

They do. However, you can't shield a lot of the magnetic instruments in the plane, otherwise they wouldn't work.

Then, a very mad (mentally) person will come and will try to blow up a plane using an iPad.

Poof, back at square one -_-.

Jose_49 said,
Then, a very mad (mentally) person will come and will try to blow up a plane using an iPad.

Poof, back at square one -_-.

I don't know when you last flew on an airplane, but everything is scanned before going onto a plane.

But I've accidentally left my iPhone/iPad/laptop on a few times, obviously I didn't make the plane malfunction.