U.S. to allow expanded electronic device use on flights

FAA Administrator Huerta discusses the agency's response and recommendations from the Portable Electronic Devices Aviation Rulemaking Committee in WashingtonThe U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Thursday it will allow airlines to expand the use of portable electronic devices in flight to include smartphones, tablets and e-readers, ending a long-standing ban. "Most commercial airlines can tolerate radio interference from portable electronic devices," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said at a news conference at Reagan National Airport near Washington, D.C. "It's safe to read downloaded materials, like e-books, calendars and to play games." These activities are expected to be permitted during all phases of flight, including takeoff and landing, on the vast majority of U.S. flights, he said. Inflight cellphone talking is not approved, Huerta said, noting that this continues to be governed by the Federal Communications Commission. The next step is for airlines to submit plans for implementation after testing to make sure aircraft can tolerate this kind of radio interference.



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