By this time next year, using your favorite gadget during a flight may be a lot less frustrating. According to The New York Times, an industry working group set up by the F.A.A. is expected to relax its rules on passengers using electronic devices during takeoff and landing before the end of this year.
The Times says it spoke to individuals working with the F.A.A. group who said they received a good deal of pressure to either allow passengers to use their gadgets while in flight or provide concrete evidence that doing so can disrupt a plane's avionics systems.
Apparently, the revised rules would allow passengers to continue using their devices such as tablets during takeoff and landing if they are switched to airplane mode. Unfortunately, passengers still wouldn't be able to use their smartphones.
In addition to determining if passengers can use their devices during all phases of flights, the F.A.A. group, which is made up of individuals from electronics and aviation industry trade groups, is also working to determine what the appropriate definition for airplane mode is. The group will also work to ensure that flight attendants don't serve as gadget monitors checking to make sure each device a passenger uses is acceptable during takeoff and landing.
In December, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill threatened to "pursue legislative solutions," if the F.A.A. didn't address the issue of using gadgets during flights quickly. At the same time, the head of the F.C.C. also lobbied the F.A.A. to take such action.
via: The New York Times