Tablets May Soon Be Allowed During Takeoff, Landing
Industry group preparing report on in-flight devices
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 25, 2013 11:31 AM CDT
You may soon be able to use your tablet while taking off on a plane.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – You may not have to switch off that iPad during takeoff much longer. Last year, the FAA established an industry group to look into the effects of in-flight gadget use; by the end of 2013, officials are hoping to announce a more easygoing approach to electronic devices like e-readers. Instead of being told to shut off devices, we may be told to put them on "airplane mode," the New York Times reports. The investigative group, which includes reps for airline and electronics companies, intends to release a report by July 31.

People from politicians to pilots have called on the FAA to revise its rules. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is planning legislation on the matter, said she was particularly annoyed when she found out pilots themselves use iPads in the cockpit. "The idea that in-flight use of electronic devices for things like reading a book poses a threat to the safety of airline passengers is baseless and outdated," she said. "A flying copy of War and Peace is more dangerous than a Kindle." Phones, however, look set to remain banned.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
logicaldood
Mar 28, 2013 12:34 AM CDT
I have a pilot friend who uses an ipad issued by the airline for use instead of carrying heavy manuals around. They have their own private wifi on board the jet and the passengers have their own. The only reason the FAA never allowed electronic devices to be used is because they would have to test EVERY device to make sure it does not interfere with the electronics. The FAA thinks it was EASIER just to ban all devices rather than test them. I, for one, would not want to hear someone on their cell phone next to me. Reading or using an ipad or kindle QUIETLY would not pose a nuisance. The "airplane mode" on tablets and phones do not receive or transmit wireless signals when activated. THAT SHOULD be allowed. ALL electronic devices do transmit a small amount of electromechanical signal but those are very very minute and will not affect the airplane's systems.
JackNelsonSteward
Mar 25, 2013 6:26 PM CDT
Oh, for cryin' out loud. We are SO desperately hooked to our cybergadgets that we can't be separated from them for the minutes it takes to take off and climb out and to descend and land? Get ...a LIFE ... ... and, of course, if there is REALLY no safety reason that compels it, then we shoudn't have to ... but REALLY ...
Bieberforpres2016
Mar 25, 2013 3:13 PM CDT
"The idea that in-flight use of electronic devices for things like reading a book poses a threat to the safety of airline passengers is baseless and outdated" Apparently the idea that a knife or a screwdriver could pose any kind of threat to passengers is also baseless and outdated.