FAA may soon lift restrictions on use of electronics

A Federal Aviation Administration advisory panel will formally recommend that restrictions on use of electronic devices on aircraft be loosened. The formal recommendation will be sent to the FAA on Monday. If the FAA implements the recommendation, passengers will be able to use devices such as iPhones, iPads, and e-readers during takeoff and landing, according to the AP:

If the panel's advice is followed, passengers would have greater opportunity to use most devices below an altitude of 10,000 feet, although some devices would have to be switched to airplane mode. Downloading data, surfing the Web and talking on the phone would remain prohibited.

Easing the constraints on device usage on plans has been an evolving discussion that regulators have been having for years. While many will be inconvenienced by the continuing prohibition against connecting to the internet, many flights provide access to Wi-Fi now, making it less of a hassle for customers to disconnect during takeoff and landing. If the FAA accepts the panel's recommendation, the restrictions could be lifted as soon as early 2014.

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Source: The Associated Press