As of Oct. 31, the Federal Airlines Administration (FAA) agency now permits passengers to use approved electronic devices gate-to-gate. This signifies that travelers no longer have to turn off their iPods, tablets, or other non-cellular devices during takeoff and landing. However, the policy change does not change the rules regarding cell phone usage as that is still prohibited at all times during flight. Overall, the policy change allows passengers an extra thirty minutes of electronic time, with ten minutes during takeoff and twenty minutes during landing.
The FAA originally believed that the use of electronics under 10,000 feet interfered with plane radio signals. However, further studies have demonstrated that electronics have little to no effect.
Thus, the FAA granted airlines the power to evaluate whether or not their airplanes have the capability to permit the functioning of electronics throughout the entire flight. FAA administrator Michael Huerta told reporters that “each airline will determine how and when this will happen.” However, he expects that “many carriers will prove to the FAA that their planes allow passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year.”
When one-third of travelers admitted to improperly using electronic devices during flight, it was evident that a policy change was necessary. Thus, the luxury of traveling in the air is gradually augmenting.
(Sources: CNN, USA Today)