"We're looking for information to help air carriers and operators decide if they can allow more widespread use of electronic devices in today's aircraft," said Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "We also want solid safety data to make sure tomorrow's aircraft designs are protected from interference."
It would be nice if something got less restrictive about flying these days—especially as ubiquitous as portable electronic devices have become over the last few years. Given that it sometimes seems as though everyone now has a smartphone, tablet, or ereader, these device restrictions are hitting an ever greater percentage of travelers these days.
But from my reading of the article, it seemed to me as if the recommendations could go either way—they could decide electronic devices are safe, or they could decide they’re still too risky. Or, of course, they could split their decisions based on type of device, though it would seem like ereaders ought to be safe, as long as their wifi and 3G are disabled for the flight. (Last December Nate looked at a NY Times study on how much interference the Kindle emitted.)
Regardless, the FAA will be posting a Request For Comments in the Federal Register tomorrow, seeking comments about various technical issues surrounding the restrictions. (They’re probably going to want something a bit more substantive than, “It sucks I have to turn off my ereader when we take off,” though.) Comments should be sent to PEDcomment@faa.gov.
image by Kevin.Fai