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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In line with an advisory committee recommendation from last month, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced that it is relaxing restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices during nearly all phases of flight.

faa_ped_flight.jpg
Under the new regulations, by the end of the year many passengers will be able to use their personal devices, including iPhones and iPads in Airplane Mode, throughout their flights with the exception of the actual takeoff and landing, although specific implementation will be left up to the individual airlines.
Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions. Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled - i.e., no signal bars displayed--and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones. If your air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, you may use those services. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
Airlines may also limit device use at other times depending on circumstances, such as earlier in the landing process during periods of low visibility where pilot reliance on electronic guidance systems is critical.

Airlines will have to certify that their aircraft can tolerate any radio interference from the personal electronics devices, and the FAA will provide clear guidelines on various risks of allowing personal electronic devices, as well as on the various areas where updates will need to be made, including signage, audio announcements, flight crew checklists, and more.

Article Link: FAA Officially Allows Airlines to Expand Use of Personal Electronics on Commercial Flights
 

levitynyc

macrumors 65816
Aug 19, 2006
1,116
3,390
I don't fly much, but weren't you always allowed to use these devices with the exception of during takeoff and landing?

Also, how are they going to enforce that the devices are in Airplane Mode?
 
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faizoff

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2012
234
20
I don't fly much, but weren't you always allowed to use these devices with the exception of during takeoff and landing?

Also, how are they going to enforce that the devices are in Airplane Mode?

This is what confuses me too, maybe it wasn't allowed officially to use devices in the plane until now even though everyone was using it.
 
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musicianm

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2012
89
0
Minnesota
How is this really any different from any other time I have flown?


A friend of mine who has been in the Airforce/Navy and currently active with the Army doesn't even put his phone into airplane mode, and told me it does not affect anything.
 
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giantfan1224

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
870
1,115
I don't fly much, but weren't you always allowed to use these devices with the exception of during takeoff and landing?

Not below 10,000 ft.

Also, how are they going to enforce that the devices are in Airplane Mode?

The same way they enforce them now to be off, by telling you to do it and ensuring that none are in use by walking up and down the aisle.
 
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yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,994
2,766
St. Louis, MO
I don't fly much, but weren't you always allowed to use these devices with the exception of during takeoff and landing?

Only above 10,000 feet.

Also, how are they going to enforce that the devices are in Airplane Mode?

They're not really going to be able to. Thankfully, contrary to popular belief, a cell phone not in airplane mode does not take down a jet. Otherwise, Al Qaeda would've figured that one out and just sent terrorists on planes with phones powered up and transmitting during takeoff.
 
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TRS-80

macrumors newbie
Sep 30, 2008
10
1
Heaven forbid people put away their digital pacifiers for a moment.
 
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Bare

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2008
182
6
Should I admit that I've been doing this already? This myth was busted years ago, though I'm glad I won't have to hide my earbuds in my shirt anymore.
 
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giantfan1224

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
870
1,115
How is this really any different from any other time I have flown?

The difference is now I can read on my iPad throughout the flight instead of having to turn it off and stow it prior to takeoff and reaching 10,000 ft and while landing. I've been waiting for this...

----------

Heaven forbid people put away their digital pacifiers for a moment.

But the point is, why should they have to? The rule was archaic and unnecessary.
 
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Tiger8

macrumors 68020
May 23, 2011
2,479
649
I hope they keep throttling Wifi!

I honestly hope Airlines keep throttling wifi so that people don't use it for voice over IP call. Imagine sitting next to somonechatting away on Viber or Skype throughout the flight
 
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GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,741
149
Heaven forbid people put away their digital pacifiers for a moment.
This has been said 1000 times for every 2000 times someone complained that it hindered their day when they were forced to turn off their devices. To me, it matters not. I take a quick nap and all is well. Obviously there were enough people, more important than you or I will ever be, who found the whopping 10-20 minutes of time without their devices to be detrimental to their day. Ergo, is now allowed.
Should I admit that I've been doing this already? This myth was busted years ago, though I'm glad I won't have to hide my earbuds in my shirt anymore.
It's not like you're some badass, feel free to fess up. People do it all the time until they're caught.
 
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dBeats

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2011
636
214
I don't fly much, but weren't you always allowed to use these devices with the exception of during takeoff and landing?

Also, how are they going to enforce that the devices are in Airplane Mode?

I fly all the time. The rule is actually from the point they seal the main door until 10,000 feet you are not allowed to use any electronic device. So if they seal the door, and you're in line to take off for 2 hours, you can stare at your iPad but you can't "turn it on".

On the way down it's the same, from 10,000 down until the main door is unsealed. So if you land and taxi but, say the airline cheaped out on gate fees and has a few less gates, then you get to sit on the tarmac and stare at your iPad but not "turn it on."

So it's pretty huge, and I'm willing to forgo the 5 minutes of actual takeoff and landing time even though we all know it doesn't cause any increase in danger whatsoever between the shielding on the plane's electronics, and the shielding needed for certification for smart devices. But you know the one time a plane goes down during takeoff/landing someone will try to sue the airlines claiming "rampant use" of "radiation emitting" devices caused the problem, and somehow that's the airline's fault.
 
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Bare

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2008
182
6
This is what confuses me too, maybe it wasn't allowed officially to use devices in the plane until now even though everyone was using it.
The difference is they make you turn off all electronic devices during take off and landing. Some airlines/flight attendants make a bigger deal out of this than others, but the common phrase is that "anything with an ON/OFF switch must be turned OFF."

This actually is a big deal. I'm not into buying magazines anymore just so I have something to do for the ~20 minutes before and during take off and the ~30 minutes before and during landing. Also, huge runway delays were making headlines not long ago, which could mean that the pre-take off restriction on all electronics could turn into an hour or longer. The FAA allowing this makes a big difference, IMO.
 
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giantfan1224

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
870
1,115
I honestly hope Airlines keep throttling wifi so that people don't use it for voice over IP call. Imagine sitting next to somonechatting away on Viber or Skype throughout the flight

What's the difference between that and yapping incessantly with their seatmate?
 
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Dr McKay

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2010
3,425
48
Kirkland
How is this really any different from any other time I have flown?


A friend of mine who has been in the Airforce/Navy and currently active with the Army doesn't even put his phone into airplane mode, and told me it does not affect anything.

And how does he know? Is he going by "well I've never crashed in a jet so it must not do anything". They have been known to intermittently interfere with radios in the cockpit etc. I'm a radio/radar technician in the Air Force and we constantly have pilots complaining about interferance, because somebody on the ground near the radio position had a mobile phone on and that static buzz noise got transmitted along with the radio, and they would miss vital parts of the transmission.

Now all sites where they talk to pilots on the ground from are personal electronic-free zones. They've been randomly known to interfere with flights, e.g when it was turned off, communications or other systems returned to normal. Are you so important that you'd risk a plane full of people just to have your phone switched on still? I know it's rare compared to how many planes take off everyday, with how many people must not bother to turn them to airplane mode or off.

That one static Buzz might cause the pilot to miss-hear an altitude and descend to the wrong level. We're hugely safety conscious about it here in the Air Force.
 
Comment

elemenoP

macrumors newbie
Sep 10, 2012
25
0
Not below 10,000 ft.

What's the difference between "below 10,000 ft" and "during actual take-off and landing roll?" which per the text is the new rule?

Also, it says "put away books and magazines," does that mean print ones as well? And the graphic says "put away heavy devices" but the text doesn't mention this. How much does a heavy device weigh?

This is all so vague, it's worse than the old rules.
 
Comment

Sora

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2007
348
111
New York, NY
I don't fly much, but weren't you always allowed to use these devices with the exception of during takeoff and landing?

Also, how are they going to enforce that the devices are in Airplane Mode?

You sir would be correct. Nothing has really changed.

What would be a novel idea is "Use your device from the moment you step foot on the plane".

The FAA wouldn't do that though.

EDIT: After actually reading the FAA Announcement

"Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions. Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled – i.e., no signal bars displayed—and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones. If your air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, you may use those services. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards."

The first line gives me hope.
 
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WaxedJacket

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
619
962
Heaven forbid people put away their digital pacifiers for a moment.

I know haha. People are so locked into their devices it's kinda sick when you step back and observe human behavior.

The only thing I like out of this is that I can listen to music or podcasts the whole time.
 
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parseckadet

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2010
1,230
768
Denver, CO
Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll.

Is it just me, or is this requirement that you not even be holding a paper book or magazine during takeoff and landing new? I've never heard that one before.

Otherwise, I'm all for relaxing the rule. The way it worked before, they made you turn everything off as soon as they closed the cabin door until you reached 10,000 feet. I remember one flight where there was a long line for the runway and it was over an hour before we took off. All the naysayers say we can't live without technology for 10 minutes, but it's often longer than that, and Sky Mall isn't going to keep my mind occupied that long.
 
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yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,994
2,766
St. Louis, MO
The way I see it, as long as the baby who always seems to be seated in the row behind me is allowed to cry and scream under 10,000 feet, I should be allowed to listen to music under 10,000 feet.

They either need to allow PED usage under 10,000 feet, or require industrial strength duct tape on all children under 10,000 feet. Allowing PEDs is probably going to be the more popular option :p
 
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William Gates

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2007
351
932
Under the new regulations, by the end of the year many passengers will be able to use their personal devices, including iPhones and iPads in Airplane Mode, throughout their flights with the exception of the actual takeoff and landing

So it's pretty much the same.
 
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