FCC tells FAA to relax on strict gadget rules during flights

Dec 7, 2012
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FCC tells FAA to relax on strict gadget rules during flights

The Federal Aviation Association (FAA) has been reconsidering their ban on the use of electronics during flights for a while now with no real progress, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is stepping in to urge the FAA to chill out on their strict no-gadget policy during takeoff and landing.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski write a letter to acting administrator of the FAA, Michael Huerta, calling on the administration to "enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices" during flights. In the letter, Genachowski also said that he would be willing to work with the FAA, airlines, and manufacturers to make his proposal a reality.

Genachowski's reasoning is something that all passengers can agree with. He says that "mobile devices are increasingly interwoven in our daily lives. They empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family, and they enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness." We certainly can't argue with him on that, but the reason behind the electronics ban during flights is much deeper than what's on the cover.

While you can still technically use electronics once the aircraft hits cruising altitude, usually you're required to keep them in airplane mode unless the airline offers WiFi. However, it's always been a strict rule that all electronics are supposed to be completely turned off during landing and takeoff. Hopefully the letter from Genachowski will help the FAA aim in the right direction.

[via The Hill]

Image via Flickr


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