In a move that’s sure to make gadgeteers cheer and worry worts grumble, the Federal Aviation Administration (lovingly called the FAA) is reportedly making plans to relax some of the rules put on passengers regarding in-flight use of electronics.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen promise of our Kindles during take-off, but it appears that the FAA is at the very least moving in the right direction.
If you have miraculously managed to avoid commercial airline flight, the usual practice on a plane ride is to turn off all electronics during take-off and landing, usually during the climb to 10,000 feet.
The rule was implemented in the sixties, when electronics more easily interfered with the electronic equipment in the plane’s cockpit, posing a clear threat to the safety of everyone on board.
According to the WSJ, citing a draft by a high-level advisory panel to the agency, fliers will be able to use electronic devices during take-off and landing, but cell phone functionality is still banned. These amendments to the law are still up for modification, as they haven’t passed through the FAA yet, but it seems clear from the report that everyone agrees on one thing: the rules are highly outdated.
The draft also cites that recent industry research shows that one third of passengers, at least once in their life, have forgotten to turn off electronic devices in the danger zone.
It’s interesting to see the evolution of our technology enact grand-scale change to an industry that’s sometimes overly cautious. Especially when the transformation is relatively recent.
It was only a year ago that the International Air Transport Association was claiming that gadgets in the sky are more dangerous than we expected. Still, it’s been a long time coming considering that iPads are used in cockpits and (as stated above) many fliers forget to turn off their electronics anyways.
So who’s up for a game of Dots?