After years of being told to turn off your electronic devices during airplane takeoffs and landings, you'll finally be able to use them (MP3 players included), as was revealed in a new announcement by the FAA (via CNN)...
Until now, passengers in the United States were prohibited from using the devices until their plane rose above 10,000 feet. The timing of the changes will depend on individual airlines, but an FAA statement said it 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."--
"Each airline will determine how and when this will happen," FAA administrator Michael Huerta told reporters at Reagan National Airport.
The periods of flight in question are fairly short. The ascent of an aircraft to 10,000 feet usually takes 10 minutes or less, depending on the airport and weather conditions, said Patrick Smith, a commercial airline pilot and Askthepilot blogger.
Delta Air Lines and JetBlue wasted no time announcing Thursday morning that both airlines have filed plans with the FAA to allow for use of approved electronic devices below 10,000 feet on their flights. Both carriers had representatives on the FAA advisory panel.
he FAA had long claimed that using electronic devices during takeoff and landing posed a safety issue and that radio signals from the devices could interfere with an aircraft's communications, navigation and other systems.
But a panel the FAA established last year to study the issue concluded that most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference signals.
Before an airline switches to the relaxed rules, it will have to prove to the FAA that its aircraft can tolerate the interference. Airlines have, over the years, built newer planes with portable electronics in mind, hardening them against electromagnetic interference.
The FAA did outline an exception to the new rule: "In some instances of low visibility -- about one percent of flights -- some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device."