The Writing Is On The Wall For Having To Turn Off All Electronic Devices

Everyone hates having to turn off their iPod, Kindle and anything else with an on/off switch while the plane is taking off or landing. And for somewhat over a year, ever since The New York Times and The Atlantic teamed up with Alec Baldwin to protest the nonsensical rule, pressure has been slowly but steadily building on the FAA to relax. The latest salvo came from both the FCC and Congress: the chairman of the former and a Missouri Senator from the latter both sent letters to the head of the FAA asking the agency to reconsider. The Senator pointed out that “the current rules are inconvenient to travelers, don’t make sense and lack a scientific basis” and threatened legislative action if the FAA doesn’t change its tune.

 

In March of 2012, the FAA responded to the pressure by agreeing to test Kindles and iPads and approve them for all phases of flight. This is a half-measure, because not even a year later, Google’s Nexus 7 is the hot new tablet, yet it’s nowhere on the FAA’s radar. What needs to change is the rule requiring every model of every brand of tablet to be tested on every kind of plane. In October of 2012, the FAA agreed to take another look at its rules and to possibly change them. There’s no timeline for this process, but a committee is being organized this month to maybe do something about it. And with another federal agency, a Senator and the population at large barking at their door, we are likely to soon keep our devices on during the entire flight. “Soon”, meaning 2014. Maybe. If you’re good.

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From The New York Times

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