The safety rules and regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have finally been tweaked to enable airline passengers to use most of their electronic devices such as Smartphones, laptops, etc. from gate to gate.
However, these devices still need to be switched off during landing and take-off. The much anticipated move comes as a relief to most flyers as they are now allowed to watch videos, play games and even read ebooks during all periods of flight operation. These new regulations prove the numerous theories and reports which concluded that that delivering an enjoyable passenger experience is not contradictory to ensuring passenger safety and security.
These regulations have also been welcomed by all. Here is what Roger Dow, the CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, had to say about these regulations, “It is pleasing to see that the FAA recognizes the fact that enjoyable passenger experiences are not incompatible with safety and security.”
The decision was also well received by the very companies that make and sell these electronic devices as well as the people who use them. Paul Misener, the vice chairman of Amazon states that this decision is a huge victory for the consumers. He also says that the decision to allow electronic devices was long overdue. The frequent fliers and business travelers are also extremely happy with the decision. According to most, the new decisions now allow people to get their work done while flying which helps save out on a lot of time.
However, there are a few restrictions and caveats which still stand. For example, passengers are still not allowed to use cellular services and all mobile phones and Smartphone devices should be tuned to “airplane mode”, i.e., they should not have any active network connection. Despite this restriction, experts have commended the FAA for this step forward as it bridges a huge gap in ensuring passenger comfort during a flight. What’s more, certain airlines are also offering their passengers with access to short range Wi-Fi services thereby enabling them to use applications such as the internet, email, etc.
Despite these advancements and chances, connections to the internet which enable passengers to exchange emails, download data or surf the internet are still prohibited below 10000 feet.
Most airlines are expected to soon meet the requisite safety criteria to enable their passengers to enjoy the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs), but the actual timelines for implementation may vary from airline to airline. So far, Delta and Jet Blue are the two airlines offering this.
Here is a summary of a few points pertaining to the new regulations of the FAA that passengers should know about –
- The changes will not take place immediately and it will still take some time before fliers can begin to use their PEDs.
- The current PED policies shall remain in effect until the airline gets its PED policy changed after getting the due approval from the FAA.
- Cell phones cannot be used for voice communications.
- All devices must be switched to airplane modes and the network connections must be disabled. Wi-Fi services can be used if the aircraft allows its use.
- There might be certain instances of low visibility when passengers may be requested to switch off their PEDs as certain emergency landing systems are not PED tolerant.
Will you be using your electronic devices gate to gate?