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  (Source: NBC Universal)

The committee will be formed this fall with recommendations due in March 2013

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be forming a committee soon to investigate whether the use of electronic devices can be increased on planes.
The FAA will form the committee this fall with the intention to study the issue for six months. Recommendations should be available in March 2013, but any real actions could take longer. 
The committee will consist of pilots, airplane makers, airlines, flight attendants, mobile technology companies, passenger associations and even the public. 
This study focuses on whether passengers on an airplane can use tablets and e-readers during takeoff and landing. The FAA was adamant about passengers not using electronics below 10,000 feet because of concerns regarding interference with aviation systems needed to fly the plane. Since there are so many types of tablets and e-readers, where each individual gadget would have to be tested, the FAA banned them all
However, many argued that there is no scientific proof that these devices cause interference. Also, American Airlines pilots were allowed to use iPads in the cockpits starting in December 2011, which raised further questioning. 
Back in March, the FAA said it would review the rules regarding the use of tablets and e-readers on airplanes during takeoff and landing. 
"With the advent of new and evolving electronic technology, and because the airlines have not conducted the testing necessary to approve the use of new devices, the FAA is taking a fresh look at the use of personal electronic devices, other than cell phones, on aircraft," said Laura J. Brown, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs for the FAA.

Source: The Federal Aviation Administration

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By smackababy on 8/28/2012 1:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
I was always under the impression that the devices weren't banned because of interference, but because people were highly more likely to not pay attention to the safety brief and instructions during the times when they are most likely to contain information needed.

RE: hmm
By Dorkyman on 8/28/2012 1:30:06 PM , Rating: 2
The safety brief doesn't last until 10,000 feet.

Still, there is merit to the argument that if bad things are going to happen, they will happen on takeoff and landing, so everyone should pay attention. But if I see flames bursting out of the #2 engine, it's a safe bet that folks will remove their earbuds.

RE: hmm
By Myrandex on 8/28/2012 2:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
Still they don't ban books and magazines on takeoff, and someone reading an ereader or reading a bookw ould have the same amount of attention leftover to retain the same message repeated over and over again every flight.

RE: hmm
By lennylim on 8/28/2012 4:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
I've also heard that it is to prevent laptops / other heavy devices becoming flying bricks in an emergency.

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