The Federal Aviation Administration will reportedly loosen the currently strict restrictions on the use of electronics aboard airplanes. The recommendation to change these regulations will be brought forth by a 28 member advisory panel, and if successful, fliers will have considerably more freedom during takeoff, taxiing and landing.
Although the exact changes are unknown to the public, it would appear that certain gadgets such as the e-reader might soon be allowed during an entire flight. For the sake of not throwing safety completely out the window, cell phone calls still won’t be allowed, which is probably for the better.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the FAA has been persuaded to re-evaluate the limitations due to the public’s new dependence on mobile devices, as well as their expectation to use these machines at all times of day. After all, the existing rules have been essentially left untouched since the 1960’s; a generation in which computing was in its infancy and smartphones were several decades away from existence.
The FAA report went on to say that “the consumer electronics industry has exploded” and that restricting the use of such devices at low altitudes “has become untenable”. Current regulations place a flat-out ban on electronic devices while the plane climbs to 10,000 feet; however, despite these rules, one-third of passengers have admitted to accidentally leaving a device on during at least one flight.
The details of the amendments are still being debated and are subject to change. We must wait for an official announcement to see how much freedom we are really being granted.