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However, cell phones would still be left off the list of usable devices during these times on a flight

As mobile gadgets become increasingly ubiquitous with new versions released at a rapid pace, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is realizing that it may have to ease back on its rules concerning the use of readers/tablets during takeoff and landing. 

By the end of this year, an industry working group set up by the FAA may announce that the use of devices like Kindle e-readers and iPads can be used during takeoffs and landings of a plane. By this time next year, the new, more relaxed rules could already be implemented.

However, cell phones would still be left off the list of usable devices during these times on a flight.

The FAA set up an industry working group last year comprised of employees from Boeing, Amazon, the Consumer Electronics Association, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Association of Flight Attendants, aircraft companies, etc. The group first met in January to begin studying whether electronic devices really affect a plane's avionics or not.

The study is not only focusing on tablets and e-readers, but also future devices like Google's Glass product (augmented reality glasses) and Apple's upcoming smart watch. 

The group is expected to present its findings by July 31, 2013. 

While the group may announce that certain mobile devices are safe for takeoffs and landings, the gadgets will still have to be set in airplane mode during those times. 

The upcoming report from the industry group hopes to accomplish a system where flight attendants don't have to police passengers as far as what devices can be used and whether they're in airplane mode or not. It also hopes to move from having several regulations to just one set, which covers the proper devices and their use. 

The FAA has set rules that make it so passengers cannot use electronic devices like smartphones, tablets and e-readers during takeoff and landing on a flight. However, there is no solid proof that electronics affect the way a plane performs. This has been in question for some time, but the FAA continues to impose these rules on passengers, and it has caused panic and even injuries among those who travel by plane. 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.

But in early December 2011, the FAA raised a few eyebrows when allowing American Airlines pilots to use iPads in the cockpit. The FAA allowed iPads to replace paper manuals and charts, and they could be used during takeoff and landing.

In December 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pressured the FAA to allow greater use of electronic devices during takeoff and landing because "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."

Source: The New York Times

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just an annoyance
By daboom06 on 3/25/2013 2:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
it just annoys me to hear that the FAA only this January has decided to see if the devices actually affect planes' avionics. now, if they've checked in the past, fine, but how they could have found and corroborated that portable cd players cause anything but my own ears to malfunction has always been completely absurd. i can understand their tactic, though. if you disallow everything then nothing can go wrong, and it costs less to just have blanket policing.

but i keep my phone on out of spite for them lying to me about how dangerous my mp3 player is.

RE: just an annoyance
By gmyx on 3/25/2013 3:10:05 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree that on all mondern planes there are no issues, I still keep my phone on airplane mode for the sake of the battery and to prevent roaming charges if you land a different airport than expected.

Older planes using analog, less protected avionics could be susceptible to interference with old more powerful (energy output) cell phones, but not anymore.

RE: just an annoyance
By jjlj on 3/25/2013 3:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
Is roaming still a thing? I know going to other countries is roaming but in the US? Of course I am assuming you are talking about roaming in the US.

RE: just an annoyance
By gmyx on 3/26/2013 6:46:40 AM , Rating: 2
If your a visitor to the states, yes roaming is still a thing. Everyone wants their piece.

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