FAA Warms to Gate-to-Gate Gadgets
Ban likely to remain on cell phone calls
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 21, 2013 5:04 AM CDT
In this Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 file photo, US Airways and American Airlines planes are shown at gates at DFW International Airport in Grapevine, Texas.   (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

(Newser) – For the first time since the 1960s, the FAA's rules on electronic devices could change in a big way. An FAA advisory panel says it's time to start allowing certain gadgets to be used during taxiing, takeoff, and landing, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rules developed decades ago have "become untenable" thanks to the surge in consumer electronic usage, says a draft report by the panel. A note of caution, however: Cell phone calls aren't likely to be allowed.

Part of the problem with the ban is that many passengers are already violating it—often unintentionally. A third of passengers say they've accidentally left devices on during flights. What's more, aircraft are "much more tolerant" of electronic device usage than they used to be. If the vehicles pass tough tests, passengers may be able to use gadgets "gate to gate." Right now, airlines follow the FAA-recommended ban, and the agency wants to take broad action quickly rather than see individual airlines develop their own rules. A final FAA decision probably won't come before September.

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
Jun 21, 2013 7:45 PM CDT
This whole issue is soooo bogus. There's no evidence a cellphone or any other communications device has ever interfered with the flight electronics of an airliner. By accident, I flew into Denver from Orlando and discovered I'd not turned off my cellphone. I also use my 'flight mode' to create text messages, so when the plane lands and is taxiing, my phone is active and sending! Been doing this for years with no crashes, near misses, or complaints from the cockpit, Notice now airlines are offering WiFi.... which of course, they make you pay for! So it can't be dangerous!
Jun 21, 2013 2:39 PM CDT
Oh yeah, maybe the airlines should send a text to all passengers giving them safety instructions in the event of an emergency. My observations are passengers pay more attention to their electronic devices than to the safety instructions. Sure be funny watching passengers grabbing for their devices trying to find the sent text on how to open an emergency window when there is actually an need. And yes the devices don't work when wet. Remember the Hudson River.
Jun 21, 2013 9:10 AM CDT
I think mythbusters busted this a while back