E-devices on planes could soon be OK, even on takeoff

Don’t you hate that part of flying when you have to turn off your iPods, video games and everything else electronic? Well, as soon as next year, that might come to an end. The FAA is considering scaling back how many electronic devices are banned during the takeoff and landing of an aircraft.

The FAA is expected to give approval to use of e-books, DVD players, music players and video game systems below 10,000 feet. But, cell phones and WiFi are expected to stay on the restricted list. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Aero Icarus)

The FAA’s ban on electronic devices has come under a lot of criticism lately.

And while airlines have reported instances of electronic devices interfering with cockpit instruments, according to The New York Times:

“ ... the evidence is largely anecdotal, and regulators have never been able to establish conclusively that electronic devices interfered with flight instruments.”

 So what’s the real reason behind the ban? The Huffington Post reports:

“ ... the FAA requires airlines to conduct tests to prove that any device allowed for use is safe — but since there are so many different phones, tablets and laptops coming out every year, it’s been easier just to ban them altogether.”

 So is it just a case of “better safe than sorry?” CBS News national transportation safety expert Mark Rosenker told CBS ‘This Morning’ probably, but not when it comes to cell phones.

“Well that really is an issue, not just because potentially it could create interference with navigational devices, but we do know according to the FCC that it could interfere with cell phone towers when they’re in the air.”

The FAA panel is meeting on the issue this week and is expected to submit its recommendations by the end of the month.

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