On Halloween, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) announced that it’ll allow the use of electronic devices during takeoffs and landings. This announcement will be the first time electronics can be used since the inception of the ban on FM radios in the 1960s.
The FAA banned electronic devices in the past because of the possibility of radio interference, causing the navigation and flight equipment to fail or malfunction. Most modern planes are shielded from such interference, and flights now offer passengers in-flight WiFi. The FAA feels that it’s time to lift this antiquated ban. The committee reviewed many data sources and received technical
briefings about radio emissions with regards to typical personal electronic devices (PEDs). The committee also reviewed the resilience of airplanes to PED emissions, as well as the manner by which airlines currently may demonstrate that resilience.
Countless airlines are gearing up to take advantage of this ruling. In fact, JetBlue and Delta have already received the go-ahead to offer this option from the FAA after their aircrafts passed a number of tests. Other airliners are immediately checking the shielding around their crafts so they don’t lose a competitive edge against Delta and JetBlue.
After the ruling was announced, patrons were enthused and expressed relief in an interview with USA Today. Passengers are now able to use cellphones and tablets, while laptops can be used during entire flights (except when visibility is low, due to the extremely low chance of interference).
The FAA ruling comes at a time when people are constantly connected to their devices. It would’ve been better, however, if this ruling came when the smartphone craze started. It would’ve eliminated all the complaints and frustrations, in addition to helping Alec Baldwin beat his companions in Words With Friends. Ultimately, the ruling is a step toward a more connected lifestyle.