FAA Taking a 'Fresh Look' at Digital Device Use During Takeoff and Landing

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is reexamining regulations banning the use of digital devices like the iPad or Amazon Kindle during taxi, takeoff and landing of commercial aircraft. Passengers are banned from using electronics while the aircraft is under 10,000 feet, but pilots and crew are allowed to use their iPads during all phases of flight. This is especially important because many airlines are replacing pilot flight bags with iPads to reduce weight and save money.


    Nick Bilton, writing for the New York Times:
    Good news for some, but there are some peculiar quirks to the FAA's bureaucratic approval process. Under current guidelines, individual tablet models will need to be tested separately -- on each different aircraft model. The iPad, iPad 2 and iPad 3 will be individually tested, each on a separate flight, on an empty plane, for the Boeing 737, 747, 757, etc. Smartphones are not being considered for approval, which will be good news for those hoping to keep the skies a relatively quiet place.
    We are a long ways off from seeing iPads in use during takeoff and landing, but the fact that the FAA is willing to consider changing the regulations is very promising.

    Article Link: FAA Taking a 'Fresh Look' at Digital Device Use During Takeoff and Landing
  2. fasteddie760 macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2012
    Ok for iPad owners. But what about Galaxy Tab owners?
  3. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    The older man seems upset in the photo. The younger one looks like he messed up on something.
  4. GSPice macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    Nice to see some rational thought behind this. I wouldn't mind the pilots getting what they need - passengers will always be rude whether or not they're allowed to play angry birds during takeoff.
  5. Stridder44 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003

    I am 100% all for this, as nothing would be more annoying than a plane full of people on their phone. I wonder if they'll allow iPhones during taxi/takeoff/landing as long as they're in Airplane mode.
  6. rotobadger macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2007
    Although it would be nice to be able to use my iPad or iPod on and before takeoff, it's really not that big of a deal. Read a magazine or do a crossword for 15 minutes.
  7. Swift macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    Los Angeles
    The story seems to imply that this is "bureaucracy." But in the interests of safety, of course each device will have to be tested in each airplane. The radiation emissions will be different, and the wiring of each model of plane is different.
  8. DESNOS, Mar 19, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012

    DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    To people who are worried about the iPad suddenly not working, creating some sort of accident: Why buy one iPad when you can buy two at twice the price?

    EDIT: I wonder how many people will get the reference...
  9. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    starting to get board of this photo...

    To be honest I don't think what apple devices are being used for should be "news" here. Only apple endorsed programs like ibooks should feature here.
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  11. caligomez macrumors regular


    Feb 8, 2011
    San Juan, PR
    I always thought it was all about not having the passenger during takeoff and landing, which are key periods where things might go wrong..

    We obviously all know that iPads and other devices can't bring down (or interfere) the aircraft communications systems..

    I mean, haven't we all left it on Airplane mode/Sleep at one time or other?:D
  12. iamkarlp macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2008
    If I were Tim Cook, I would be on the phone with the FAA as soon as humanly possible, offering to outright pay for all the testing.

    Being the first ones to have a certified platform to allow you to work/play door-to-door would be right up their ally.

    Karl P


    The more I think about it, the more I like it.

    It would simultaneously be a good marketing opportunity, a nice gesture to their growing list of aerospace companies, and it would set a precedent of the end company paying for qualification, which keeps it off of needing to add another federal budget line item.
  13. Thunderhawks macrumors 601

    Feb 17, 2009
    There's gotta be an app for that!
  14. DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    If only things "Apple Endorsed" got posted here, "MacRumors" would have to change its name to "MacFacts", thereby making this site pointless.
  15. theheadguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2005
    I was going to quote the EXACT same thing! It would make flying more dreadful than it can be already.
  16. rydewnd2 macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2007
    New York City
    Too difficult to enforce
  17. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    The current situation is far too overly safe because there is no evidence of a problem. And the route to change has been impeded by overly complex bureaucracy. nice to see there is a chance of this improving.
  18. parish macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2009
    Wilts., UK
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B179 Safari/7534.48.3)

    But if pilots are already using iPads during takeoff and landing that implies that they have been tested and proved to be safe. And let's face it, whereabouts on an aeroplane is an iPad etc. likely to be the greatest risk? Yep, on the flight deck which is stuffed to the gunwales with electronic equipment. So I would say it's bureaucracy.
  19. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    I think you a word there. ;)

    But yes, my understanding has always been that the rule was more about removing extra distractions during the two most likely phases of flight for a crash to occur. If an evacuation is necessary, you need passengers paying attention.

    I'm sure when portable electronic devices started showing up, there was some real concern about interference until comprehensive tests were done. But now that we know better (?), flight crews simply use that explanation to help enforce the safety rule.
  20. bigcat318 macrumors 6502

    Dec 25, 2007
    I never understood the crews saying the devices must be turned OFF, even if they have an airplane mode. To me its called 'airplane mode' for a reason...
  21. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    That would be "Contact". :) But I don't get why the reference is relevant. :confused:
  22. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    The U.S.'s stance toward electronic devices on planes crossed the line in to absurdity a long time ago. There are planes in the UAE that have cell phone repeaters hooked to satellite receivers to tie them in to the mainland lines so that everyone on the plane gets cell reception and can text and make calls.

    I understand people who dislike the social ramifications of having cell reception on phones (you thought the lady with the loud baby was annoying? Wait till a teen talks on the phone next to you the whole trip).

    But the fact that the airlines think that a kid playing his iPod or GameBoy- devices with no wireless communication whatsoever- can bring down a plane and have to be shut off is crazy if we can have cell phone repeaters on planes in the UAE.

    There is absolutely no reason that Airplane Mode would be insufficient during takeoff and landing for an iPhone/iPad.
  23. jglavin macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2006
    Instead of approving individual devices, couldn't they create a UL listing for "plane-safe" electronics, e.g. those that would pass the FAA test? Or does FAA not acknowledge UL?
  24. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    That's not the reason for the rule:


  25. jmgregory1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    Chicago and Spooner (when it's not 20 below)
    I have a feeling that a lot of the issue revolves around the fear that an electronic device will be used to detonate an explosive device somewhere else on board.

    Or using your phone to setup tracking for an outside source to down a plane.

    It has nothing to do with any device interrupting the pilots ability to control the plane - although wouldn't it be cool to use an app like flight control and start maneuvering the real plane using your finger on the app?

    The FAA will make the testing so cumbersome and time consuming that it will effectively kill the ability to get any product certified. The fact that they're already using iPads should tell you that their testing methodology is just a deterrent.

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