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  (Source: NBC Universal)

  (Source: technobuffalo.com)
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 tayb on 8/28/2012 2:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
If these devices interfered with planes there would have already been issues because most people don't actually turn these devices off. This "study" will conclude with what we already know... people using devices are annoying but the devices aren't dangerous.

Next time you are on a plane just look around and watch. "Turn off your cell phones and electronics" is simply "turn the screen off on your cell phones and electronics."




By Solandri on 8/28/2012 4:51:56 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, cell phones do interfere with navigational and communications equipment. In my car, if I place my cell phone in front of the radio (I put a holder there so I can use it as a GPS), I can hear random blips and bloops over the radio.

The proximity has to be very close though. I suspect cell phones in the cabin wouldn't interfere, unless you're on a transoceanic flight and the pilots are relying on radio signals from land bouncing off the ionosphere to reach them.


By Camikazi on 8/28/2012 7:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
I am pretty sure that airplane electronics are much better shielded and resistant to interference than a car is. If a car can resist a phones interference until it is right on top of the navigation I am sure a plane will be much more protected plus the fact that a phone won't get that near to the cockpit anyway :P


By tayb on 8/29/2012 9:51:31 AM , Rating: 2
That might be true if Boeing went to Walmart to buy navigational and communications equipment and then placed the equipment inside the cabin without any shielding. While you are correct in theory in practice the equipment is properly shielded against any interference. Boeing has tried to replicate supposed "anomalies" caused by cellular interference and was completely unable to even remotely interfere with equipment.


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