FAA Announces Lifting of All Restrictions on In-Flight Electronic Devices
AppleInsider reports that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has today announced that by the end of 2013 passengers will be able to use their electronic devices, such as iPhones and iPads, throughout all phases of a flight, including landing and takeoff, provided they are in “airline” mode.
Previously, of course, you’d have to wait until the plane had reached 10,000 feet in order to use your device, but now you can use if from gate to gate without waiting to reach the correct altitude. If the airline offers Wi-Fi, then you’ll be able to use that on your device, as well as short-range Bluetooth, according to AppleInsider.
There are still a few rules in place, however, which the use of electronic devices by passengers in-flight. The FAA stipulates that all electronic devices either be held, or stowed in the seat-back pocket during takeoff and landing. Cell phones can only be used with airplane mode enabled and cellular service disabled, and passengers are not allowed to make cellular calls on their cell phones.
The FAA also provided the following checklist, which the top things that it thinks passengers should know about using their devices in-flight.
"We believe today's decision honors both our commitment to safety and consumer's increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flights," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "These guidelines reflect input from passengers, pilots, manufacturers, and flight attendants, and I look forward to seeing airlines implement these much anticipated guidelines in the near future."
• 1. Make safety your first priority.
• 2. Changes to PED policies will not happen immediately and will vary by airline. Check with your airline to see if and when you can use your PED.
• 3. Current PED policies remain in effect until an airline completes a safety assessment, gets FAA approval, and changes its PED policy.
• 4. Cell phones may not be used for voice communications.
• 5. Devices must be used in airplane mode or with the cellular connection disabled. You may use the WiFi connection on your device if the plane has an installed WiFi system and the airline allows its use. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
• 6. Properly stow heavier devices under seats or in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing. These items could impede evacuation of an aircraft or may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident.
• 7. During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember's instructions.
• 8. It only takes a few minutes to secure items according to the crew's instructions during takeoff and landing.
• 9. In some instances of low visibility - about one percent of flights - some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.
• 10. Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.
Source: FAA to allow passenger use of iPhones, iPads & other electronics during all phases of flight