A landmark ruling by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowing the use of electronic devices on aeroplanes during takeoff and landing has finally been approved. The ruling came after the FAA began investigations in August 2012 to determine just how the use of electronic devices aboard flights affects in-flight radio controls and various other factors.
However, while the ruling has been approved, every airline will have to complete a safety assessment as well as receiving FAA approval before tweaking their personal electonic device (PED) policies to reflect the new change in ruling. In addition, the new ruling does have one practical limitation: while you can use your devices during takeoff and landing, like every other item, the devices must be stowed away in the back seat pocket or held during the actual takeoff or landing. Also, cell phones must be in airplane mode to disable cellular service – a small price to pay for many.
While the ruling would only apply for the US for now, it does present a gradual shift in the right direction for the global aviation industry as a whole, and hopefully it is only a matter of time before the change makes its way to this side of the world.