Your flights may soon get a whole lot louder. The Wall Street Journal reports that just weeks after the Federal Aviation Administration eliminated electronics restrictions from flights, the FCC is now planning to propose that passengers be allowed to use their cell phones in the air. Cellular data would still need to be disabled during takeoff and landing, but after the plane reaches 10,000 feet, passengers would be free to make phone calls. More →
Rejoice, for you will never have to turn off your personal electronics before a flight takes off again. The Federal Aviation Administration sent out a press release on Thursday stating that “airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance.” Not all airlines will implement the new rules in their entirety during the first days of this regulation alteration, but the FAA expects virtually all passengers will be allowed to keep their devices on in airplane mode for the entire duration of a flight by the end of the year. That’s three more minutes of in-flight Wi-Fi as well, so if you’re listening to Pandora, or even if you’ve defected to iTunes Radio, you shouldn’t miss a beat.
It’s taken a long, long time but the Federal Aviation Administration finally looks poised to relax rules on using electronic devices during flights. The New York Times reports that the FAA this week will issue a set of recommendations to ease “most of” the rules that restrict what fliers can do with their smartphones, tablets and PCs while on airplanes. Among the restrictions the Times expects to stay in place are bans on making phone calls during flights, on using Wi-Fi during takeoff and on sending emails and text messages during takeoff. Just because the FAA is finally coming around to letting people use their electronic devices more on planes, however, doesn’t mean that the change will come soon: The Times says that the rules on in-flight electronics use won’t go into effect until next year.
It’s been a long time coming, but the Federal Aviation Administration finally looks like it’s ready to let people use electronic devices during flight takeoffs and landings. Unnamed sources tell The Wall Street Journal that the FAA is about to propose new rules that will “likely mean an end to familiar admonitions to turn off and stow all electronic devices,” although travelers still won’t be able to make cell phone calls until their planes have landed. The Journal notes that the FAA’s hand has likely been forced because so many people are already ignoring the current set of rules. The agency also come under pressure from lawmakers and former Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski to give fliers more leeway for using their electronic devices during takeoffs and landings.
In a move that will be welcome to all tech-savvy frequent fliers, the Federal Aviation Administration may finally loosen its rules on using electronic devices during flight takeoffs and landings. The New York Times reports that the FAA plans to allow fliers to use their laptops and tablets while set to “airplane mode” at during the takeoff and landing process by the end of the year. This doesn’t give fliers carte blanche to keep all their devices on throughout the whole flight, however, since the FAA would keep its current rules in place for cellphones and smartphones. News of a potential rule change comes just over a year after the FAA promised to give revising its in-flight electronics rules “a fresh look.” Outgoing Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski late last year urged the FAA to step up their efforts to change the rules and said that the agency should “enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices” on flights.
No, it doesn’t make any sense that you have to turn off your iPad or Kindle during airplane landings, and now the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants to see that change. In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski urged the agency to “enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices” on flights, The Hill reports. Genachowski went on to say that letting passengers use their devices more during flights is important because “mobile devices are increasingly interwoven in our daily lives” and that they “enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness.”
Kindles and iPads have moved into the mainstream, and by the end of 2012 it is predicted that more than 40 million eReaders and 60 million tablets will be owned in the United States. When it comes to traveling, unfortunately, consumers are often forced to use traditional forms of entertainment — physical books and magazines – due to the dated rules enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration. Those rules, however, may be about to change. Laura J. Brown, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs for the FAA, told The New York Times on Sunday that the agency has decided to take a “fresh look” at the use of personal electronics on planes. The last time the administration performed testing was in 2006, long before the iPad was introduced, and it does not plan to include smartphones in the possible revisions. Read on for more. More →
Legislation signed by President Obama directs the Federal Aviation Administration to allow remotely controlled drones to be used by law enforcement agencies, DGR News Service reported. Within 90 days, police and first responders will have the authority to fly unmanned drones weighing less than 4.4 pounds at altitudes under 400 feet, with drones of all sizes to be permitted by the FAA by September 30, 2015. Previously, the use of drones was restricted in civilian airspace due to safety concerns surrounding the obstruction of larger aircraft. Successful lobbying of drone makers, however, was able to overturn the ruling. More →
In a memo released on Friday, the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee said the nine federal agencies that make up the body have concluded unanimously that none of LightSquared’s proposals would overcome the network’s interference with GPS technologies. The announcement comes as a crushing blow for the startup, which is looking to build an LTE network with the company’s 1600MHz frequency. Preliminary testing last year showed that LightSquared’s planned network interfered with GPS. After a handful of rebuttals, changes, and more testing, the government has decided to pull the plug and request no further testing. The Federal Aviation Administration also concluded the network would interfere with aircraft safety systems.”Based upon this testing and analysis, there appear to be no practical solutions or mitigations that would permit the LightSquared broadband service, as proposed, to operate in the next few months or years without significantly interfering with GPS. As a result, no additional testing is warranted at this time,” the memo said. LightSquared slammed the decision, claiming the agency has a biased agenda that is in favor of the GPS industry. Late last year, LightSquared reiterated that the GPS industry is at fault and it demanded approval from the FCC to begin deploying its network. More →