FAA Studies Aircraft Passenger Electronic Device Use

The US FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is looking into implementing rules that would allow airline passengers to use electronic gadgets while aircraft are arriving at or departing the world's airports.

Presently, there's legislation in place that allows all carriers to put specific types of personal music players, tablets and the like through trials to ensure they're safely compatible with the electrical systems on board commercial aircraft.

However, the sheer volume of electronic gadgets on the market, combined with the impracticality of expansive test programmes, has limited the number of airlines who've actually done this to a small handful.

Aircraft Electronic Device Tests
The FAA's therefore moving to initiate discussions between dominant airline groups, the manufacturers of these Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) and other parties to, potentially, get these aircraft electronic device use tests underway.

At present, PEDs can't be used by passengers onboard commercial aircraft at heights of 10,000 feet or below. If this changes, however, such devices could be allowed to remain in operations throughout the takeoff and landing phases of commercial air travel.

"With the advent of new and evolving electronic technology, and because the airlines have not conducted the testing necessary to approve the use of new devices, the FAA is taking a fresh look at the use of personal electronic devices, other than cell phones, on aircraft", the FAA's Laura J. Brown explained, in a statement.

FAA Passenger Device Studies
The results of any trials that are staged from these FAA passenger device studies could be closely followed in the US - a nation where, as per data published by Forrester Research, no less than 60 million iPads are forecast to have been sold by the end of this year.

Referring, in a press release, to the interest in this programme likely to be shown by consumers, the FAA has nonetheless confirmed that ‘no changes will be made until we are certain they will not impact safety and security.'

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