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FAA Relaxes on Electronic Devices

Jimmy Callens ‘14, Staff Writer

Are you planning on going on a plane any time soon? Maybe for a holiday trip to see friends and family? Well things just got a bit easier. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decided to ease their regulations against airline passengers from using their personal electronic devices (PEDs) during the flight. On Friday (Nov. 1st), the Jet Blue flight 2302 from JFK to Buffalo was the first commercial flight to allow passengers to use their PEDs gate-to-gate.

The change took surprisingly long, 47 years. The first regulations were issued back in the 60’s. And the main worry then was with radio transceivers interfering with the navigation systems. Later technology made the navigation systems less vulnerable.

Although less vulnerable, airlines might still restrict PED use on rare conditions (i.e. low visibility means the pilots must rely on radio beacons). In-flight calls will still be prohibited do to FCC restrictions on airborne calls.

The final decision on the matter was based on surveys from: airlines; aviation manufacturers; passengers; flight attendants; pilots; and the mobile tech industry. New guidelines were sent out to airlines and many can meet the standards. Not all of them will meet the standards, however, since not all airlines are modernized.

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