The FAA will never just take it on faith that electronic devices cannot or will not cause interactions that degrade cockpit comm and nav systems. The first rule of airworthiness is "prove it's safe". Speculation isn't data. There are too many lives potentially at stake. Either test the devices against the aircraft systems (research “source/victim testing” if interested) and prove interactions don’t occur or don’t cause degradation, or don’t fly with them active.
Also realize the FAAs position when you expand the number of devices to *all* consumer electronics. And the number of aircraft. Whose burden will it be to test the device/aircraft combinations…the FAA? the device manufacturer? And how do you enforce allowing tested devices to be operated and all others shut off?
The safety and caution aspect is lost on many travelers, who value convenience and comfort above all else. The subject is something I’m personally passionate about because my job is ensuring aircraft equipment is first and foremost safe for the aircrew and passengers. Performance and durability are second, safety is *always* first.
I’ve seen plenty of interactions occur during testing that no-one ever predicted.
I’m convinced RF energy is part voodoo, and that’s with an understanding of the physics involved. Anyone who says they can predict interactions, or conclusively determine there won’t be any without testing first not to be trusted making airworthiness decision.
And how long an inconvenience is the FAA currently requiring passengers endure? 10 minutes at takeoff, and a few more while in the landing sequence. That’s not much to ask for increased air travel safety. Not by a long shot.
The problem isn’t nearly as simple as the traveling public realizes.