“The seatbelt sign is now on, so please switch off all electronic equipment as we prepare for takeoff/landing.” God I hate that phrase, but changes could be in the air. The New York Times reports that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) could change the rules by year’s end, only requiring your iPad to be in ‘airplane mode’ for takeoff and landing.
According to people who work with an industry working group that the Federal Aviation Administration set up last year to study the use of portable electronics on planes, the agency hopes to announce by the end of this year that it will relax the rules for reading devices during takeoff and landing. The change would not include cellphones.
There has been huge pressure on the authorities to change the rule, as there is no concrete evidence that using an iPad will send the plane off course and send it crashing down to a fiery end.
Senator McCaskill of Missouri:
So it’s O.K. to have iPads in the cockpit; it’s O.K. for flight attendants — and they are not in a panic — yet it’s not O.K. for the traveling public. A flying copy of ‘War and Peace’ is more dangerous than a Kindle.
While cellphones would be still need to be turned off, people are carrying more and more harmless tech, and it’s something that’s definitely got to be changed. Imagine in a couple years time with Google Glass: the seatbelt sign is now on, so please shutdown your glasses for takeoff and landing.
While this rule change would only apply to the US, if it does happen, other aviation authorities around the world would inevitably follow suit. Come on, let’s make this happen!