Everybody hates having to stop reading ebooks, listening to music and playing Angry Birds during take-off. But it's not a fact of life; over in the States, the FAA is rethinking its policy on using electronic devices during takeoff and landing. About. Bloody. Time.
According to a report by the New York Times, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is planning to take a "fresh look" at the ban on using electronic devices during taxi, takeoff, and landing. It is, however, not budging on phones; any changes will be for tablets, ereaders, MP3 players and the like.
Currently, every single device that needs to be approved for use on planes has to be tested on an empty flight —one at a time. What's more, that has to be done on every plane in an airline's fleet. No wonder no airline bothers changing the status quo; it would cost a fortune.
So the FAA is planning to change that system, by working with "manufacturers, consumer electronic associations, aircraft and avionics manufacturers, airlines, pilots, flight attendants and passengers". It's six years since the FAA inspected the process—in which time we've seen pilots using iPads and the percentage of passenger bags containing Kindles rocket—but this time we might actually see a change. And if that change is made, it will no doubt cause a ripple-effect around the world, as other airlines hurry to fall into line with the US' news rules. Just like the security measures of the past few years, you could say. [New York Times; Image: Derrick Coetzee]