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FAA considers lifting restrictions on portable electronics on planes

FAA considers lifting restrictions on portable electronics on planes

Anyone who has flown on a commercial airliner has heard the flight attendant tell passengers to turn off all cell phones, computers, e-readers and other devices once the cabin door is closed, and leave them off until the plane reaches 10,000 feet.

The FAA has recognised this is an area of intense consumer interest, so the agency has brought all the important stakeholders together to facilitate a discussion on this issue.

A government-industry group is now studying the current policies and procedures aircraft operators use to determine when these portable electronic devices can be used safely during flight.

The goal is to help air carriers and operators decide if they can allow more widespread use of electronic devices in today’s aircraft.

The group, called an Aviation Rulemaking Committee, is examining a variety of issues including the testing methods aircraft operators use to determine which new technologies passengers can safely use aboard aircraft and when they can use them.

They also are looking at technological standards associated with the use of devices during any phase of flight.

The group began its business in January and will hold periodic meetings through September, after which it will give its report and recommendations to the FAA.

The group is not considering the use of cell phones for voice communications during flight because Federal Communications Commission regulations prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones.