We have all been there, eager to check our electronic devices but unable to do so when we’re on a plane, so we have to wait to land, in order to see if we received that important message or email. After such a particularly unsatisfactory experience, Missouri Democrat, Senator Claire McCaskill, wrote a letter to the FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, in which she mentioned her concern related to the “lack of engagement” directed to the problem of prolonging the use of electronic devices while flying. She claimed that the current rule of passengers being prohibited to use even their iPods while the jet is in motion is absolutely “preposterous”.
Of course, if the FAA accepts to change rules, they will not apply this to smartphones or cell phones in generally, but to tablets such as the iPad, music players and other non harmful devices. Some might wonder what a Senator might know about air travel safety, but she assured everyone saying that neither members of the public nor lawmakers consider that the FAA regulations are about safety anymore.
McCaskill started tackling the issue back in December when she highlighted the “intransigence” of the FAA regarding electronic devices, especially since flight crews will be allowed to use “electronic flight bags” on board while the plane is in motion.
The response of the FAA was pretty vague, stating that they too share the McCaskill’s intent of “taking a fresh look at the issues”. However, the response was not to McCaskill’s liking. She still maintains:
“Simply put, electronic devices that are currently allowed above 10,000 feet should be allowed for use during all phases of flight. It is preposterous to think that an e-reader in a passenger’s hands during takeoff is any more a threat to other passengers or crew members than a hardback book.”