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FAA delays in-flight tech decision to September

plane

By Reuters

Posted on 21 Jun 2013 at 16:59

The decision over whether air travellers will be able to use technology during flights has been delayed until September.

A Federal Aviation Administration advisory panel weighing whether to ease restrictions on in-flight use of personal technology devices such as ebook readers has delayed its recommendations by two months until late September, the FAA said.

The delay comes amid reports that the FAA advisers are expected to recommend the agency relax its guidelines and allow passengers to use more personal electronics on flights.

"At the group's request, the FAA has granted a two-month extension to complete the additional work necessary for the safety assessment. We will wait for the group to finish its work before we determine next steps," the agency said.

Currently, FAA guidelines allow airlines some flexibility in whether they allow passengers to use certain personal electronic devices because of concerns they may pose a safety hazard by interfering with radio frequencies and disrupting aircraft systems.

Most airlines tell travelers not to use iPods, music players, laptops and other gadgets during takeoffs and landings, and mobile phones are also generally not allowed anytime during flights.

The Wall Street Journal, citing industry officials and a draft copy of the panel's report, said that the group will recommend relaxing restrictions on electronic gadgets but will not address the rules barring mobile phone use.

NBC News also reported that the recommendations are likely to call for allowing passengers to use devices such as electronic readers, and that FAA officials are likely to adopt the change.

The FAA last year said it was convening the advisory panel to help airlines decide whether to allow wider use of such gadgets. The group is weighing both any potential safety issues such as interference and the feasibility of easing the ban.

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User comments

ban it all

On the Emirates A380, we could use mobile phones for calls, laptops worked with wifi for emails etc. The only thing I could not get working was Skype.
Flying longhaul used to be almost a pleasure as it was the one place I could be out of contact and not work. When I pay so much for a flat bed, I want to get 8 hours sleep not listen to a load of people wittering on their phones. (or a bunch of toffs getting pissed loudly in the bar).
Ban all phones and connectivity during flights (and put a door on the bar area).

By Zippy204 on 22 Jun 2013

Phone Box

Why not install a phone box on board then travelers can then go and use the airlines phone to keep in touch with their boss with out disturbing others, now I am being silly

By Chrisfjr1300 on 23 Jun 2013

Is the A380 really so quiet ...

... that passenger noise is the major disturbance? If so, I'm impressed!

By JohnAHind on 24 Jun 2013

Is the A380 really so quiet ...

It's not that it's particularly quiet, it's the ever-increasing noise from the drinkers in the bar on the upper deck. If you're seated on the upper deck do NOT get one near the bar.

By Zippy204 on 24 Jun 2013

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