Passengers Can Now Enjoy Their E-Readers In Flight

You are now free to move about the country -- using your portable electronic devices (PEDs) in flight. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has decided itEUs safe to allow passengers to use their electronics during all phases of flight.

Due to the differences among fleets and operations, the implementation will vary among airlines, but the agency expects many carriers will prove to the FAA that their planes allow travelers to safely use devices like e-readers in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year.

EUWe believe todayEUs decision honors both our commitment to safety and consumers' increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flights,EU said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. EUThese guidelines reflect input from passengers, pilots, manufacturers, and flight attendants, and I look forward to seeing airlines implement these much anticipated guidelines in the near future.EU

What Are the Exceptions?

Practically speaking, this means passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions.

For example, electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled -- no signal bars can be displayed --and they cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones. If the air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, passengers can use those services, as well as short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.

The PED Aviation Rulemaking Committee concluded most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference signals from PEDs. In a recent report, they recommended that the FAA provide airlines with new procedures to assess if their airplanes can tolerate radio interference from...

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