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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has okayed the use of personal electronic devices (PED) during flights with a few caveats still in place. In the revised guidelines, passengers can read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight. Making calls while in the air is still prohibited. Wi-Fi services can be availed above 10,000 feet if the air carrier provides the facility. Use of Bluetooth also gets the nod.

The new ground rules are far more flexible than the earlier ones which required passengers to switch off all devices during take-off and while the plane readies for a landing. Electronics could only be switched on at 10,000 feet with the pilot’s go-ahead. Under the new relaxed guidelines, airlines may allow passengers to use the devices during takeoffs, landings and taxiing if the planes are properly protected from electronic interference. The individual airlines will have to determine which planes in their fleet can tolerate radio interference from PEDs. Due to this variance in fleet capabilities and operations, each carrier may implement these guidelines differently. The FAA has provided procedures for carriers to assess their readiness for these passenger-friendly measures. Get more details from the FAA press release at the end of this news post.

The headquarters of the Federal Aviation Administration

So, passengers will have to wait as changes to the present PED restrictions will not happen overnight. Hopefully, with the runways cleared and the guiding lights from FAA switched on, a more enjoyable takeoff should be on the cards sooner rather than later.

Source: FAA Press Release | Image Credit: MBisanz

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  1. Saikat B
    November 2, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Yes, just purchasing ebooks instead of softcovers and magazines to read on a flight should bring down my expenses ;)

    As for the latter, ah well...we are victims of the times we live in.

  2. ReadandShare
    November 2, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I am happy that ebooks and such will be allowed. I am ecstatic that cell phones still cannot be used in the air.

    Now, if we can just get the FAA to scrub the requirement for passengers to take off their shoes when going through security screening!