The FAA has finally joined the rest of us in accepting that your mobile device isn't going to cause airplanes to fall from the sky. They've just issued a new set of guidelines which state that US airlines can safely expand passenger use mobile devices "during all phases of flight".
Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions. Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled – i.e., no signal bars displayed—and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones.
This is great news for anyone who has been ignoring the existing rules (due to them being nonsense), or at least it will be good news once the guidelines percolate through the various airlines, which will need to rewrite their rules on the matter. This could take 6 months or more.
I've been waiting for years for the rules to change; it's been clear since at least 2011 that mobile devices can't actually interfere with the safe operation of an airplane. This has in fact been shown any number of times, but like any government bureaucracy the FAA can take a very long time to make a decision.
image by www.guigo.eu