Friday, November 01, 2013

FAA to Allow Use of Electronic Devices on Flights

The Federal Aviation Administration announced that it will allow the use of electronic devices at all stages of flight, but that airlines will have to test their own aircraft to make sure there is no interference. The FAA released a statement prior to the press conference that read, "The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta today announced that the FAA has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance. Due to differences among fleets and operations, the implementation will vary among airlines, but the agency expects many carriers will prove to the FAA that their planes allow passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year." 

Jet Blue became the first airline to allow passengers use electronic devices throughout the flight. Airlines have to prove to the FAA that their take off and landing operations won't be affected by the use of the electronic devices. JetBlue said its tests had been certified and their passengers were able to use their devices starting at 6 pm last night. Delta was waiting for approval and is ready to start today if the FAA approves. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled, no signal bars displayed, and cannot be used for voice communications due to Federal Communications Commission regulations that prohibit any airborne calls on cell phones. The new rules apply only to flights in the U.S., and not flights to U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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