FAA May Allow iPad Use During Commercial Aircraft Takeoff and Landing

Airline passengers may soon be allowed to enjoy personal electronics devices like tablets, e-readers and music players during commercial airliner takeoffs and landings.

This week, sources at The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that officials are actively “exploring ways to bring together all of the key stakeholders involved” for the purpose of determining if devices like Apple’s iPad must really be lumped together with other electronics devices not prohibited for use at various times during the commercial flight experience.

Laura J. Brown, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs for the FAA, reportedly told the New York Times that the FAA is taking a “fresh look” at the longstanding rules, which were established long before he iPad, Kindle, and other popular e-readers arrived.

That’s going to be welcome news to the people in the United States who, according to Forrester Research, by the end of 2012 will have bought more than 40 million e-readers and 60 million iPads and other tablets.

As of this writing, however, smartphones are not going to be among the devices reviewed for possible expanded use on flights.