The debate about certain cell phone usage during flight departure and landing is finally over. U.S. safety authorities on Thursday said they will allow airlines to relax their rules on mobile device use on airborne aircraft, easing a regulation that has been criticized for years.
The Federal Aviation Administration determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of portable electronic devices during “all phases of flight.” Airlines will have to show the FAA that their airplanes meet the new guidelines and that they’ve updated their flight-crew training manuals, safety announcements and rules for stowing devices to reflect the new guidelines. Some flight passengers are happy about the change, but others were content with the old rules and regulation, for safety takes precedents.
In-flight cell phone calls will continue to be prohibited. Regulatory authority over phone calls belongs to the Federal Communications Commission, not the FAA. The commission prohibits the calls because of concern that phones on planes flying at hundreds of miles per hour could strain the ability of cellular networks to keep up as the devices keep trying to connect with cell phone towers, interfering with service to users on the ground.
Read more about how the FAA Relaxes Rules, Allows Mobile Device Use on Airplanes at Daily Herald.