Ask the Answer Guy – What’s the word on using electronics on airplanes?

Dear Brent,

I heard that airplane passengers will soon be allowed to use their gadgets for longer stretches of time during their flights. Is this true?

Yes, you heard right. It's been widely reported that the Federal Aviation Administration is reevaluating their rules on gadget usage during flights - particularly during takeoff and landing - and may soon implement changes that allow more usage for longer periods.

Extensive testing of all electronics on all types of planes, without passengers, is underway - testing that is expected to take quite a bit of time to complete. Once testing is done and new, looser rules are in place (rumored to be sometime in 2014), those new rules will probably only apply to specific gadgets like iPads, which are currently used by pilots in flight and are not considered to be an endangerment. A ban on the full use of mobile phones will most likely remain in place.

As a precaution, the FAA's current rules prohibit the use of any electronics during takeoff and landing and allow passengers to use items such as iPads and music players once the plane reaches 10,000 feet. There has been little proof that these electronics interfere with a plane's navigation system so, much to the delight of flyers, looser rules are being considered.

About Dyan James

Dyan has been researching, writing, copyediting, and proofreading articles across a variety of industries since 1998. She further developed her interest and talent for covering technology while working with the guys at DCG Technical Solutions, Inc. Whether writing from scratch, copyediting or simply polishing, Dyan has mastered the art of turning rough copy or a plain idea into an eloquently written piece.

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