F.A.A. May Permit Expanded In-Flight Use of Popular Electronics

The F.A.A. may be clearing for takeoff a number of popular consumer electronics devices for expanded in-flight use over the coming year, the New York Times reported Sunday. According to sources close to the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency hopes to relax the rules for ereaders and tablet devices during takeoff and landing. The change, …   Read More

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The F.A.A. may be clearing for takeoff a number of popular consumer electronics devices for expanded in-flight use over the coming year, the New York Times reported Sunday.

According to sources close to the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency hopes to relax the rules for ereaders and tablet devices during takeoff and landing.

The change, however, would not include cellphones.

One member of the group and an official of the F.A.A., both of whom asked for anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about internal discussions, said the agency was under tremendous pressure to let people use reading devices on planes, or to provide solid scientific evidence why they cannot.

For now, the F.A.A. is not offering comment on the matter.

Senator Claire McCaskill plans to “hold the agency accountable” by introducing legislation related to this issue.

“So it’s O.K. to have iPads in the cockpit; it’s O.K. for flight attendants — and they are not in a panic — yet it’s not O.K. for the traveling public,” McCaskill said. “A flying copy of ‘War and Peace’ is more dangerous than a Kindle.”

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