FAA May Stop Making You Power Off Those Electronics : All Tech Considered An expert advisory committee recommended Monday that the Federal Aviation Administration allow the use of some personal electronic devices during takeoff and landing. But while many passengers are eager to use their tablets and music players all flight long, it may be months before any rules are changed.

FAA May Stop Making You Power Off Those Electronics

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/227873667/227880098" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.


I'm Melissa Block. And it's time for All Tech Considered.

We're talking about our relationships with mobile technology in our tech segment today. And we start with news that many air travelers have been waiting for. The FAA may soon allow smartphones, tablets and the like to be used throughout an entire flight, including takeoff and landing. A committee recommended that change today, as NPR's David Schaper reports from Chicago.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Barbara Reilly is a frequent flier and a busy one at that.

BARBARA REILLY: On today's plane, I brought a computer, an iPad, a cellphone. I used them all, used them continuously until the very moment I had to turn them off and then the second I could turn them all on, they were all back on.

SCHAPER: The healthcare consultant from Atlanta passing through Chicago's O'Hare airport says she doesn't like the FAA rule that requires passengers to turn off all of their personal electronic devices during takeoff and landing.

REILLY: I would love to see that rule go away. If it's not really helping anything and it's just a rule to have a rule, then I would love to see it go away.

SCHAPER: Reilly may soon get her wish. An advisory committee made up of pilots, mechanics, engineers, airline executives, and other industry experts finds that personal electronic devices do not interfere with airplane communications and navigation systems. And today that panel is recommending that the federal government change its rules to allow many electronics to be used throughout the entire flight. Travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt says this will be welcome news to passengers deep in a book on their e-reader, lost in a guitar solo on their iPod, or watching video on their tablet or smartphone.

HENRY HARTEVELDT: If you're a parent with a small kid traveling, it means that you don't have to deprive your child of that entertainment. If you're in the middle of watching an episode of your favorite TV show or a favorite movie, you don't have to put that away.

SCHAPER: But Harteveldt says sending and receiving texts and emails, or using Wi-Fi during takeoffs and landings would still be prohibited. Also, talking on cellphones during flights will still be banned. Some flights attendants are concerned that passengers glued to their devices won't be able to hear important announcements during an emergency. A spokesman for the FAA says the recommendations are under review, and if the agency agrees to change the rules, it might not be until next year. David Schaper, NPR News, Chicago.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.