In one of the most long-awaited announcements in recent technology history, the FAA has approved the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets during the takeoff and landing portions of flying. This announcement means that having to shut off your gadgets at certain times will soon be a thing of the past. The rationale behind this new rule change was due to a large number of industry experts who claim that using such mobile devices at altitudes below 10,000 feet is completely safe and offers no threat to the safety of the plane or any of the instruments required for normal operation.Previously, the FAA required that all eBook readers, tablets, smartphones, and laptops be turned off by fliers until the aircraft had reached altitudes over 10,000 feet. The new rules will take effect immediately according to FAA spokespersons, but each company will be required to prove that their fleet can handle the use of such mobile devices before they are cleared for use. Because each airline has a varying selection of airplanes in operation, some fliers will see the change immediately while others will need to wait for the older models to be phased out.
It is also important to note that even though you can now use your mobile devices through the entire flight, using cellular capabilities during any portion of a flight is still prohibited. So, passengers will still need to switch certain items to “airplane mode” while in flight, but they can take advantage of Wi-Fi service during the takeoff and landing process without consequence. The reason for cellular service being forbidden is longer a safety issue according to industry professionals, but rather the fact that cell service simply doesn’t function at those elevations and thus is a waste of battery life as your mobile devices search for service.
So, even though airlines must prove they can handle the radio interference at all times during a flight, passengers can certainly look forward to these new rules making their flight an even better experience. Flight attendants are also stoked because this means that there will be one less announcement to make before the airplane can depart. In the end, everyone is a winner with the latest rule revisions released by the FAA.