Fugetaboutit: “Turn off all electronic equipment”

According to the WSJ

The FAA is going to relax rules for electronic “gadgets” used in flight … allowing them to be used at low altitudes … sometimes even during take-off and landing.

Unfortunately, the change won’t apply to cellphones which will still restricted to high altitudes use.

 

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 Here are some details …

 

Also according to the WSJ …

The original rules, written in 1966, took shape in an era when experts feared electromagnetic interference could wreak havoc with critical navigation systems and radios aboard aircraft.

And, The FAA has also said that listening to or watching a hand-held device can distract passengers if emergencies occur close to the ground.

Now. safety experts …  contend the vast majority of today’s portable electronics pose little or no risk of interfering with aircraft systems or procedures.

The experts say that over the years, technical advances and stepped-up testing have contributed to building “much more tolerant” aircraft, while devices have improved dramatically to use less power, transmit weaker signals and “stay within a tighter range of frequencies.”

Still, today, airlines follow the FAA’s guidance and slap a blanket prohibition on all devices until planes climb to 10,000 feet.

The existing rules, essentially unchanged since the 1960s, have been overtaken by dramatic changes in technology and passenger expectations.

The FAA is being forced to act due to the sheer number of passengers flouting today’s rules.

Nearly one-third of passengers reported that, at least once, they “accidentally”  left some device on throughout a flight.

The FAA’s anticipated decision would relax the rules for use of approved devices from the time cabin doors close to when the plane reaches 10,000 feet.

Some devices, such as e-readers, could even be used during all phases of a flight.

Cellphones would still need to be turned off during take-offs and landings … though, that’s under review, too.

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The impending changes also portend business opportunities for airlines, which are scrambling to satisfy customer demand for faster airborne connections along with expanded Wi-Fi entertainment and business applications.

By some estimates, the world-wide market for such offerings already is close to $3 billion annually, with as many as 20,000 new  and Airbus jets slated to be modified for onboard connectivity over the next decade.

Source: WSJ

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