As pilots we all know that the F.A.A.’s catch-all rule prohibiting electronic devices on airline flights is a bit ridiculous. We’re required to turn off our tablets and noise-cancelling headsets below 10,000′, the same two devices that allow us to communicate clearly with ATC and display charts in the cockpit while flying an instrument approach to minimums.
Now it looks like the F.A.A. may be re-examining these rules. Nick Bilton from the New York Times recently posted a story after learning that the F.A.A. is reviewing their policies on gadgets:
“When I called the F.A.A. last week to pester them about this regulation — citing experts and research that says these devices could not harm a plane — the F.A.A. responded differently that it usually does. Laura J. Brown, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs for the F.A.A., said that the agency has decided to take a “fresh look” at the use of personal electronics on planes.”
What do you think? Should the F.A.A. ease up on these regulations? Or is it in the greater interest of safety to ban anything that has an on/off switch below 10,000 feet? Vote in our poll, then add your comments below.