FAA may soon lift restrictions on use of iPhones, iPads, other electronics during takeoff and landing

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.

Happy, concerned, uncaring?

Source: The Associated Press

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Reader comments

FAA may soon lift restrictions on use of iPhones, iPads, other electronics during takeoff and landing

14 Comments

I have a confession to make:

I'm a semi-frequent business traveler. When asked to turn off my phone before takeoff, I've ALWAYS just put it in airplane mode, never turned it off once. I've also often had my iPad (wifi only) turned on but locked in a sleep state on many a takeoff and landing.
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To date, we haven't crashed once!

Yup, only reason I turn my phone off before takeoff is because I know I'm going to go to sleep on the flight

i do the same. i don't even put it on airplane mode until we get up a couple of thousand feet into the sky. don't think it causes any interference with anything. you lose you signal pretty quickly as you take-off.

So if I was a terrorist... why fuss with explosives... just bring like 100 cell phones on-board and don't turn off...

Seriously, cell phones won't cause a plane to crash, modern aircraft radio systems are designed to ignore outside communications.

I've read of cases where airline /pilots/ use their phones /from the cockpit/ to send a quick text message or update their email real quick. Hell, after I read many cases of that, I admittedly did it on a flight once, when I wanted to check in with my friends real quick. The plane didn't blow up, and no one came and yelled at me or have a message over the intercom saying someone was interfering.

Not to mention how many other people probably leave their phones on during the flight, whether accidentally or on purpose.

The biggest issue is that leaving the data connection on the flight would *slaughter* your battery. After all, being thousands of feet above the ground already makes it hard enough for your phone to connect, but traveling at 400 MPH also?

So it's not so much an issue of interfering with the air craft radios and killing, as much as you killing your phone's battery.

It'll be a LONG time before we hear flight attendants say "put it Airplane mode". I can envision 10 people asking "is THIS airplane mode?" or a myriad of "yes, but..." situations. Its far easier and more simple to just say everything has to be turned off. Good, bad, or indifferent, airlines don't want to be in the tech support business.

is it me or is the plane in the photo about to have some serious issues on approach look at that crosswinds or something turn da phones off

Nothing new for me. I fly using Qatar Airways. They allow me already to use any device as long as I keep it on Airplane mode. They even have an electric socket in front of every seat to charge your devices!

The guys at Mythbusters made it clear that this interference issue is a mere myth in modern airplanes. It's like anything, they have ulterior motives for doing what they do and that's why they don't want to break the status quo.