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Perhaps Alec Baldwin will now be able to keep his anger in check on airplanes. The paparazzi on the other hand; you're on your own.
The FAA advisory panel is finishing its recommendations this month

Airline passengers will likely be able to start using certain electronics during all phases of flight starting next year.

According to The New York Times, an advisory panel for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is meeting this week to finish its recommendations concerning electronics use onboard planes. These recommendations will be given to the FAA by the end of the month, and NYT says they'll likely go into effect next year.

The recommendations are expected to relax current rules for the use of electronics on planes during takeoffs and landings. According to NYT, the panel suggests that reading eBooks, listening to podcasts and watching videos will be allowed, but making phone calls, sending/receiving e-mails and text messages or using Wi-Fi will still be off limits. 

The rules in place today were set in 1966, when it was believed that electromagnetic interference would cause problems with radios and navigation systems onboard the plane. The general rule is to turn all electronic devices off during takeoffs and landings, and can be turned on once the plane reaches about 10,000 feet. 

However, with the flood of portable devices available today, it's nearly impossible to make sure each and every tablet or smartphone is off during takeoffs and landings.

That's why the FAA created the advisory board in August 2012. Not only is it looking for recommendations, but also didn't want each airline to create a different set of rules that would confuse passengers. It looks like the board thinks it's time to relax the rules a little. 

In June of this year, the 28-member panel consisting of government, industry and pilot union representatives released its draft recommendations saying that the weak wireless signals and tighter range of frequencies from electronic devices are not enough to interfere with plane systems. Approved devices, such as e-readers, could even be used during all phases of the flight. 

Current rules for electronic device use has caused a lot of problems between passengers and even airline employees. For instance, a 68-year-old man punched a 15-year-old on a plane when the teenager refused to turn off his smartphone during a flight. According to the man, he was doing it to save the entire plane from any harmful consequences.

Another passenger was arrested in El Paso when he decided not to turn off his cell phone during landing. In yet another instance, a passenger did the same when landing in New York and a swarm of cop cars were waiting for him once he exited the plane.

Of course, many also remember the incident where Alec Baldwin was kicked off a plane in 2011 for playing Words With Friends.

Source: The New York Times





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