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FAA Report Says Electronic Devices Are Safe to Use At All Times on Flights

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Oct 06, 2013 06:35 PM EDT

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A flight customer using an iPad.
Electronic devices are safe to use on flights. A report was leaked which suggests that devices connected to Wi-Fi are safe to use on most U.S. airliners.(Photo : / alui0000)

Electronic devices are safe to use on flights. A report was leaked which suggests that devices connected to Wi-Fi are safe to use on most U.S. airliners.

The report says that electronic devices can be connected to onboard Wi-Fi during all points of a flight and not just when the plane is at 10,000 feet, meaning they can be used at takeoff and landing.

The report comes from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advisory committee. The full report has not yet been released, but the Wall Street Journal was able to get some leaked content.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the FAA committee said "many aircraft flying today are largely ready to handle passengers using their electronic devices, including during take-offs and landings." However restrictions must remain in place when it comes to ground-based cellular connections which are used for calls and data.

According to Paul Misener, Amazon's vice president of global public policy and member of the FAA committee, most planes would be fine no matter what apps a device was running. Misener also believes that "gate to gate" use of electronic devices is safe.

Passengers have had to deal with strict rules when it comes to electronic devices as airline crews require them to turn off their devices during takeoff and landing. Passengers have been made to believe that their device can cause problems for a flight by disrupting navigation or radio signals.

Several studies have been conducted to determine if these devices are really a threat and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration set up a committee last year to determine how these rules should change.

The committee started working in January with a goal of coming to a conclusion within six months. However the committee was given a two-month extension to come up with rules for how airlines should assess the safety risks posed to critical flight systems and develop a policy on stowing devices that would work with the additional use of the devices.

The FAA will review the report and determine what steps the agency will take next.


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