FAA allowing electronic devices during takeoff and landing

Rejoice, gadget fans, kindle addicts and basically anyone else who’s wished they could use their phone/tablet/laptop/e-reader for the whole duration of a flight — that day is near. After years of dancing around the issue, the FAA has finally permitted airlines to allow passengers to use their electronic devices for the duration of a flight, including takeoff and landing.

There will be, to quote the FAA, “very limited exception” to the list of devices that can be used. Each airline will have to prove to the FAA that its aircraft are suitably guarded against potential interference from devices, but Boeing and Airbus have been constructing modern aircraft to cope with any potential interference for a while now. A number of carriers are expected to have plans in place by the end of the year, with Delta stating that it will allow devices to be used as soon as November 1.

Airplane mode is, obviously, still a requirement — cellular devices cannot be used for internet or calls in-flight. Tray tables must also still be stowed, so laptops will need to remain on laps or in bags until the usual altitudes have been reached.

It does, however, finally mean that e-reader owners can be as smug as paperback readers during take-off and landing — and, really, that’s all we wanted, isn’t it?

Image Credit: Pieter Ouwerkerk/Flickr

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Rhuaridh Marr is one of Metro Weekly's contributing editors and covers cars, technology, gaming and world news. He is usually found with a game controller in one hand and a smartphone in the other and can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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