Time to Relax Rules About Electronics on Planes We still have to turn them off, but it's not clear why: Nick Bilton By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Nov 29, 2011 5:09 PM CST 20 comments Comments Time to relax restrictions on electronics aboard airplanes? (Shutterstock) (Newser) – C'mon FAA, it's time to rethink the overly strict rules governing the use of electronic devices aboard planes, writes Nick Bilton in the Disruptions blog at the New York Times. There's just no evidence to suggest that somebody with an ebook or video game will endanger a takeoff or landing. Banning phone calls during those times is fine, but why not let people shift their devices into "airplane mode" to block radio signals and let them stay on? "Surely if electronic gadgets could bring down an airplane, you can be sure that the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, which has a consuming fear of 3.5 ounces of hand lotion and gel shoe inserts, wouldn’t allow passengers to board a plane with an iPad or Kindle, for fear that they would be used by terrorists," writes Bilton. His column generated lots of response, and he deals with some of the main questions here.