You may soon be able to use your iPad on flights during takeoff and landing, as the Federal Aviation Administration is considering loosening restrictions on devices that can be powered on during those times. The list of permitted devices would not include cellphones, and would be restricted to so-called “reading devices” such as Kindles and iPads, and all devices would be required to be put in airplane mode. A working group is currently studying the issue and hopes to release its results by the end of July, according to Nick Bilton at the New York Times:
Last year, the agency announced that an industry working group would study the issue. The group, which first met in January, comprises people from various industries, including Amazon, the Consumer Electronics Association, Boeing, the Association of Flight Attendants, the Federal Communications Commission and aircraft makers. The group plans to introduce its findings by July 31.
What exactly is meant by “reading device” isn’t quite clear apart from ereaders. Is an iPad a reading device? You can certainly read on it yes, but does it qualify? Given that airplane crew members are now able to use iPads during takeoff and landing to do their jobs, it seems reasonable that iPads would be on this list. But this raises other questions: what will I be allowed to do with my device? Can I play a game, listen to music, or watch a video? Hopefully this will become clear when the group releases its report in July.
Source: The New York Times