FCC urges FAA to let passengers run gadgets during takeoff
The FCC weighed in on an FAA request for comments about its policy requiring passengers to stow mobile devices during takeoff and landing
PC World - Airplane passengers aren't the only ones fed up with restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices during takeoff and landing.
Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has written a letter urging the Federal Aviation Administration to change its rules. The FAA is reviewing its long-held policy against the use of electronics during takeoff and landing, and Genachowski said he supports that process.
"This review comes at a time of tremendous innovation, as mobile devices are increasingly interwoven with our daily lives," Genachowski wrote, according to The New York Times. "They empower people to stay informed and connect 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."
The FAA previously studied the potential for electromagnetic interference caused by portable electronics in 2006. Although the study didn't find any evidence of grave danger during takeoff and landing, the agency erred on the side of caution, saying it also couldn't find enough evidence to change its longstanding policy. (It's worth noting, though, that American Airlines pilots are allowed to use iPads instead of printed flight manuals.)
Under the rules, airlines can allow specific electronic devices to be used at all times, but only if the airline can prove there's no danger. To do so, airlines must send each device into the air, with no passengers on board. It's an expensive process even for one device, let alone the hundreds of tablets, laptops, and e-readers that hit the market every year.
In August, the FAA announced that it's reviewing its policies for all portable electronics except cell phones. The plan is to form a working group with government and industry parties, and eventually set new rules on the use of approved electronics during all phases of flight.
That sounds like great news for travelers, but this is the government after all, so don't expect a quick change in policy. The FAA hasn't provided any updates on its plans in the last three months, even though it was supposed to formally establish a working group this fall. Once the group is formed, it'll still take six months to go over the rules, and probably even longer to implement any changes.
But as pressure to change the rules increases--even from within the U.S. government--the FAA won't be able to drag its feet forever. Let's hope this is the beginning of the end of stowing away our gadgets during takeoff and landing.
- Leverage the Power of APIs to Turbocharge Your Mobile Strategy: 7 Steps to a Successful API Program In this guide, Intel® Services-which offers industry-leading API management solutions for over 150 top enterprises, including Best Buy, Netflix, Expedia, ESPN, and The...
- Mission Critical Cloud Powers Freesat Website, Mobile App When subscription-free satellite TV service Freesat needed a scalable, cost-effective infrastructure it found the disaster recovery and security features it needed with Peer...
- Bring Your Own Device: From Security to Success Download this e-Book to learn best practices for executing a BYOD policy.
- Securing Mobile App Data - Comparing Containers and App Wrappers Analysts agree that Mobile Device Management (MDM) is not enough when it comes to securing app data. Although it remains a critical component...
- API Management: The Key to Improving the Consumer Travel Experience Join PhoCusWright's Senior Technology Analyst, Norm Rose, as he shares his insights on how travel suppliers and intermediaries can improve industry data flow...
- Don't Believe the Hype: Not All Containers are Created Equal Hear executives discuss the 3 C's of Secure Mobility-content, credentials, and configurations-and learn the inherent security risks to your organization of using MDM... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts