The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finally allowed the use of consumer electronics during the takeoff and landing of airplanes. Travelers will be free to use their smartphones, tablets, and portable videogame consoles for the entirety of a flight. “Implementation guidance” has been given to airlines and the current restrictions should be lifted by the end of the year. It certainly took the organization long enough to get rid of this stupid restriction, but…
…the FAA still found a way to look silly. It refers to consumer electronics as PEDs. The group says that the acronym stands for “portable electronic devices,” but many people know PEDs as performance-enhancing drugs. Taking a clip from the FAA press release out of context, I found it terribly amusing that FAA administrator Michael Huerta said, “Passengers can use PEDs on airplanes.” I bet Alex Rodriguez got all kinds of excited about flying after he read that (yes, I know he has his own Gulfstream, but just go with it).
Here’s a straight-up clip from the press release:
The FAA based its decision on input from a group of experts that included representatives from the airlines, aviation manufacturers, passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and the mobile technology industry.
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.
If you want the full skinny, including all the FAA’s definitions and the group’s top-10 list of “Things Passengers Should Know about Expanded Use of PEDs on Airplanes” then be sure to hit up the source link below. For now, (please) tell me how you feel about the FAA finally getting rid of its stupid rules on consumer-electronics use during takeoff and landing). Are you excited about the prospect of playing games, watching movies, and listening to music for an entire when you visit your loved ones this holiday season?