The FAA is seeking comments about its current policy which airlines follow regarding passenger use of personal electronic devices. Yes, that list that flight attendants rattle off (which surprisingly still includes “iPods” and “Gameboys”). So apparently it is time for review and comment.
The FAA’s call for comments is in this several page memo.
Some interesting tidbits arise from this memo:
1. The FAA does NOT require airlines insist that passengers turn off devices during takeoff and landing. That’s an airline policy, not law. Instead, the FAA leaves it up to the airline to determine the rules and makes them responsible for their decision. Hence, the airlines err on the side of caution.
2. The origin of this policy stems back to 1966 when there was concern that devices like electric shavers emitted FM signals which could interfere with navigation.
3. Some of the 1966-era planes which may have been susceptible to electric shavers and other 1960’s era devices are… still in service today. Hence the ongoing concern particularly when personal devices have become more technical.
You can post and read comments to the FAA rules, here.