Airline passengers may soon be able to use electronics during takeoff, landing in US

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 09, 2012 12:12 hrs

Good news for passengers annoyed when the pilot asked them to turn off their electronics before takeoff: The US Federal Communications Commission agrees with them.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sent a letter to Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta, urging the agency to 'enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices' during flights, The Hill reported.

According to the New York Daily News, Genachowski went on to defend how essential those devices have become to daily life.

"They empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family, and they enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness," he wrote.

The FAA initially required that gadgets be turned off during takeoff and landing for fear that they would interfere with the plane's avionic equipment, the report said.

But a 2006 FAA study found that "there was no evidence saying these devices can interfere with a plane, and there was no evidence saying that they can," the report added.

According to the report, after coming under public pressure to change their rules, the FAA promised in August to review their policies, but the process has yet to produce much change.

The FAA did decide last December that pilots may use iPads to access their flight manuals during takeoff and landing, The New York Times reported, though the agency's rules still forbid passengers from using e-readers and tablets during those times, the report added. (ANI)

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