FAA delays ruling on gadget use

Experts advising the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on whether to ease restrictions on in-flight use of personal technology devices like e-readers say they need another two months to finalise their recommendations.

The Wall Street Journal, citing industry officials and a draft copy of the panel’s report, said on Friday that the group will recommend relaxing restrictions on electronic gadgets.

The advisory panel was scheduled to complete its work by July 31 but was granted a two-month extension to continue examining whether the use of electronic and WiFi enabled devices, such as iPods, laptops, e-readers and other gadgets, would be safe to use through takeoff and landing and at altitudes under 10,000 feet.

The panel is not examining any change in the use of cell phones in flight, which is banned by the Federal Communications Commission.

“We recognize consumers are intensely interested in the use of personal electronics aboard aircraft,” said the FAA in a statement. “That is why we tasked a government-industry group to examine the safety issues and the feasibility of changing the current restrictions. At the group’s request, we have granted a two-month extension to complete the additional work necessary for the safety assessment. We will wait for the group to finish its work before we determine next steps.”

Posted in CAAs/ANSPs, Communications, News

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