According to the press release on U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced that the FAA has determined that airlines, upon assessing if their airplanes can tolerate radio interference from Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs), can safely allow passengers to use their PEDs during all phases of flight after the PED Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) concluded that most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference signals from PEDs. FAA is immediately providing the airlines with updated, clear implementation guidelines.
According to the same press release, here are the Top Things Passengers Should Know about Expanded Use of PEDs on Airplanes:
1. Make safety your first priority.
2. Changes to PED policies will not happen immediately and will vary by airline. Check with your airline to see if and when you can use your PED.
3. Current PED policies remain in effect until an airline completes a safety assessment, gets FAA approval, and changes its PED policy.
4. Cell phones may not be used for voice communications.
5. Devices must be used in airplane mode or with the cellular connection disabled. You may use the WiFi connection on your device if the plane has an installed WiFi system and the airline allows its use. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
6. Properly stow heavier devices under seats or in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing. These items could impede evacuation of an aircraft or may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident.
7. During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember’s instructions.
8. It only takes a few minutes to secure items according to the crew’s instructions during takeoff and landing.
9. In some instances of low visibility – about one percent of flights – some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.
10. Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.
I honestly turn off my phone upon boarding and turn it back on only after landing. One thing I’m guilty of is using my camera during the entire flight, especially during take off and landing. Hey, this blogger love window seats! 🙂
November 3, 2013: Delta and JetBlue has complied to and has been evaluated by FAA to allow passengers to use PEDs during taxi, takeoff, and landin. They are the first two airlines to actually put the new guidelines into practice.