The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced that it will reconsider its rules regarding the use of electronic devices during flights. Industry observers report that the FAA is likely to allow use of most digital devices during all phases of flight operations. Nevertheless, the ban on transmissions such as phone calls and text messages will likely remain in place.
Facing pressure from users of the 2 billion electronic devices expected to be sold this year alone, a disproportionate number of whom are frequent fliers, the FAA is taking a hard look at its regulations with an eye toward allowing “gate-to-gate” operation of some electronics. Adding to the pressure is the fact that many airlines now offer onboard Wi-Fi in addition to other electronic amenities, and that smacks of hypocrisy to many travelers.
It’s difficult to find hard evidence that personal electronics cause problems with avionics. Yet, increasing reliance on sophisticated navigation and “fly-by-wire” controls, have many in the aviation business convinced that prevention is the best policy. But a Delta Air Lines survey found that “possible interference” was detected only 21 times in roughly 2.3 million flights over a 30-month period. The survey concluded that while the possibility of interference existed, it was rare enough to recommend allowing passengers to use their devices in all phases of flight, including takeoffs and landings.
This sort of data, combined with surveys that show that up to 30 percent of passengers admit to leaving devices on during takeoff and landing, whether by accident or not, make the case for banning the use of electronics harder to justify.
According to the New York Times, the panel will make recommendations to the FAA shortly, and changes are likely to go into effect as soon as October 2013.
Magellan’s knows that our customers are power-users of electronic devices when they travel. That’s why we offer over 100 portable electronic devices and accessories to make your travel easier. Prepare for extra usage of electronic devices with portable battery chargers.