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FAA to allow passenger use of iPhones, iPads & other electronics during all phases of flight

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced on Thursday that by the end of the year passengers will be allowed to use portable electronic devices, such as Apple's iPhone and iPad, from gate to gate as long as they are kept in airplane mode.

Hawaiian Airlines


The rule change will allow passengers to be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos during all phases of flight, including landing and takeoff, with very limited exceptions. Previously, passengers had to wait until their plane was at a high enough altitude -- 10,000 feet --?before they could turn on their devices.

The FAA will require that electronic items, books and magazines be held or put in the seat-back pocket during actual takeoff and landing. Cell phones must be kept in airplane mode or have cellular service disabled, and they will not be able to be used for cellular voice calls.The FAA's decision means that by the end of the year, passengers will be able to use their portable electronic devices in airplane mode during all phases of flight, with a few rare exceptions.

If a carrier offers Wi-Fi service during a flight, that may be accessed. In addition, short-range Bluetooth connections are also allowed.

"We believe today's decision honors both our commitment to safety and consumer's increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flights," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "These guidelines reflect input from passengers, pilots, manufacturers, and flight attendants, and I look forward to seeing airlines implement these much anticipated guidelines in the near future."

The FAA's advisory board recommended to the agency in September that they loosen regulations on electronic device use during flights. Critics of the previous regulations said the rules are baseless, pointing out that newer aircraft are adequately equipped to deal with interference that may be caused by a portable electronic device.

In response, the FAA put together a PED Aviation Rulemaking Committee, which concluded most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference from consumer electronics. It recommended that handheld, lightweight devices such as iPhones and iPads should be allowed for use in airplane mode at all altitudes, once an airline verifies the tolerance of its fleet.

airplane


A flight's crew can instruct passengers to turn their devices off in rare instances, such as low-visibility. The committee also recommended that heavier electronic devices should be safely stowed under seats or in overhead bins during takeoff and landing.

"I commend the dedication and excellent work of all the experts who spent the past year working together to give us a solid report so we can now move forward with a safety-based decision on when passengers can use PEDs on airplanes," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

The FAA on Thursday also provided passengers with a list of 10 things it says they should know about the expanded use of electronic devices on flights:
  • 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.
post #2 of 32
Happy about this one, mostly because it means that people won't have to play games down between their legs during takeoff as the guy across from me was doing the other day. Really don't understand why the concept of 'it's a rule, don't do it' is so lacking these days.
post #3 of 32
Who didn't do this already??
post #4 of 32

Hey, look. Something that has never been a problem, ever, for any reason, at any time, is now finally accepted.

post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
[...]
The FAA on Thursday also provided passengers with a list of 10 things it says they should know about the expanded use of electronic devices on flights:
Top Things Passengers Should Know about Expanded Use of PEDs on Airplanes:

[...]

  • 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.
  • [...]
  • 10. Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.

I see laptops as potentially causing a lot of ruckus, especially netbooks and macbook airs.

What's the difference between an iPad and wireless keyboard and a macbook Pro Rd with SSD?

 

Number 10 will the cause of many of inflight outbursts by passengers.   WHY ME?  WHY NOT HER?  WHY THIS FLIGHT?  I WAS ALLOWED THE LAST FLIGHT?   

 

Oh, and what is FaceTime over WiFi (I did that on Delta last spring)... is that "voice communications" and therefore banned on iPhones, but allowed on iPads and MacBooks?

Or do they mean ?cellular telephone calls'?

 

Things will get worse before they get better.

post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Bonner View Post

Happy about this one, mostly because it means that people won't have to play games down between their legs during takeoff as the guy across from me was doing the other day. Really don't understand why the concept of 'it's a rule, don't do it' is so lacking these days.


Because rules are made to be broken.

 

Actually, it's because it was an arbitrary and stupid rule, and the best way to get rid of arbitrary and stupid rules is to disobey them as frequently as possible.

 

I really don't understand why the concept of "because it's a rule" is so slavishly obeyed by some people these days.  You're a human, not a sheep, stop acting like a sheep.

post #7 of 32
Flight attendant
"Excuse me sir...please show me that your phone is in Airplane mode"

Passenger 57
"Mamm the FAA clearly states that ...."

"JUST SHOW ME THE LITTLE GOD DAMN AIRPLANE SIR!!"
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephanJobs View Post

Flight attendant
"Excuse me sir...please show me that your phone is in Airplane mode"

Passenger 57
"Mamm the FAA clearly states that ...."

"JUST SHOW ME THE LITTLE GOD DAMN AIRPLANE SIR!!"

 

Having the phone in airplane mode has always been a rule, even when above ten thousand feet.  And I have NEVER had a flight attendant ask me to prove my phone was in that mode.  And I travel a lot for business.  Nothing to worry about here.

post #9 of 32

It's about time. I've always ignored the stupid rule anyway, so it won't change how I operate.

post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by thompr View Post

Having the phone in airplane mode has always been a rule, even when above ten thousand feet.  And I have NEVER had a flight attendant ask me to prove my phone was in that mode.  And I travel a lot for business.  Nothing to worry about here.

I've always put my in airplane mode prior to this and they still told me to turn it off.

Without fail Every time.

I'd offer to show them and explain that it shuts down on radios and still tell me to power it off.

Lol

I'm curious as to how things will proceed now. The comment prior was just a joke.
post #11 of 32

Well, the argument can be made that the very nature of a rule is because folks will think it is stupid, but needed.  Individual logic is not always better than group logic.

 

I am sure that in certain situations harming another seems like a good idea, but after things cool down, probably not.  There is a reason it's against the law.

 

I think this is a issue with society in general, we elect and appoint folks to do a job, and if they do something we don't agree with we ignore them.  No wonder it is tough to get intelligent folks to accept positions of power, since we don't listen to them anyway.

post #12 of 32
I guess "voice communications" are whatever a flight attendant sees that looks like someone making a phone call, and a cell phone is whatever device being used in that case.

Trying to do FaceTime Voice with an iPod touch or iPad and a headset is probably not going to fly, because, at least, a flight attendant would wish to avoid agitating other passengers who might believe someone is getting away with breaking a rule. On the other hand, there may be plenty of occasions when people "get away" with this and no one cares.

The bottom line is passengers are required to follow crewmember instructions, and unfortunately those are going to be inconsistent from flight to flight, because humans.
post #13 of 32
The "relaxing" part sounds OK. I am against cell phone usage for the same reason as on the ground: Too many talk so loudly they don't even need a phone! Can you imagine conversation in the whole plane going off, loudly, and most often about very stupid things (can you bring home some bread?)

People who break laws like to break laws because they don't know or care about the reasons for them. Unfortunately, there are "power people" who make laws which serve no purpose except to the law maker--an ego trip person of the type who believes in those little signs inside cars which say "Baby on Board!"
post #14 of 32

I really wish they would enforce headphones, I care more about that.  Seems that every so often I sit in front of the kids playing 'bleep bleep' or some loud game without headphones, mom or dad crashed.

 

Yeah, airplanes bring out the best in me.

post #15 of 32
A great shame - we now all have to listen to those loud-mouthed idiots who (they think) can not be out of touch with the outside world for a couple of hours.
A great shame - those few hours that travellers could finally relax during a flight and not be pestered by those idiots at the office who (they think) can not be out of touch with their colleague for a couple of hours.
BIG step back for all concerned.
post #16 of 32
Not that you can always get cell reception flying over the middle of nowhere..but I'm glad regular calls are still not allowed.
The less chance of me having to listen to someone sitting next to me yelling into their phone for an hour, the better.
post #17 of 32

Que all of the people who think they know the rules better then the flight attendants. 

 

Basically the FAA is allowing the airlines to decide on the use, not a blanket "they are now allowed" rule.   Flying is going to be more interesting for a bit just to see the commotion.

post #18 of 32
Just imagine the cost of connecting to AT&T from 10000 feet...
post #19 of 32
Quote:
 from gate to gate as long as they are kept in airplane mode

 

Quote:

If a carrier offers Wi-Fi service during a flight, that may be accessed. In addition, short-range Bluetooth connections are also allowed. 

 

So as long as money can be made, we'll allow it? I thought safety was safety no matter the profit? Although the Gate to Gate probably means no Wi-Fi during takeoff and landing, but not clarified later in bullet #5: 

Quote:

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.

 

Quote:
 "These guidelines reflect input from passengers, pilots, manufacturers, and flight attendants, and I look forward to seeing airlines implement these much anticipated guidelines in the near future."

 

Read: 'We are allowing pilots to use iPads and consumers were outraged they could not use the same device, so we changed the ruling.' 

 

Quote:
 A flight's crew can instruct passengers to turn their devices off in rare instances, such as low-visibility.

 

iPads further restrict a pilots visibility how? 

 

Quote:

 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.

 

So pilots won't have *their* iPads on at this stage? *

 

Quote:
 4. Cell phones may not be used for voice communications.

 

THANK YOU!! 

 

*Again, these rules to not allow devices during flights are humorous at best. Is the FAA telling me that terrorist (enter NSA search) have a viable way to inhibit the aircraft by bringing onboard enough iPads? If so, why is the FAA addressing this and not addressing the root of the problem; that is, aircrafts are not capable of withstanding iPad interference. Although they might be addressing this offline. 

 

I really hate stupid laws by uneducated people! 


Edited by Richard Getz - 10/31/13 at 9:48am
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Bonner View Post
 

I really wish they would enforce headphones, I care more about that.  Seems that every so often I sit in front of the kids playing 'bleep bleep' or some loud game without headphones, mom or dad crashed.

 

Yeah, airplanes bring out the best in me.

 

Just ask the attendant. They will either move you or ask the parent to quite the child. Happened on my last flight. 

post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPDLVMH View Post

A great shame - we now all have to listen to those loud-mouthed idiots who (they think) can not be out of touch with the outside world for a couple of hours.
A great shame - those few hours that travellers could finally relax during a flight and not be pestered by those idiots at the office who (they think) can not be out of touch with their colleague for a couple of hours.
BIG step back for all concerned.

 

A BIG step forward. Now we don't have to waste a couple hours in a cone of silence just because people need to sleep during the day. I'm hoping those 'idiots' will learn to sleep at home and not in the air. Glad that during the work day, I can actually WORK, or catch up on reading, or a movie, or a game, or relax if I show choose. Just as long as what I am doing is via headphones when there is sound. :) 

post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

Just imagine the cost of connecting to AT&T from 10000 feet...

 

Talk about out of network lol 

post #23 of 32
to me this sounds fair. No making calls that will annoy the heck out of folks etc. None of that 'the signals will bring down the plane' stuff will be possible if the device is in airplane mode.

But I would add a caveat that no headphones or audible noise can be going on during the safety briefings. Sure you can ignore it if you want but you won't have other sounds going into your ears or interfere with others hearing it. I'm sure you can do without the pew, pew, pew from your game for 2 minutes.

and a caveat that crew can at any time that it is deemed necessary for the safety of passengers require that all items be put away in the seat back. Such times may include if the plane is entering an area of heavy weather or turbulence where passengers may need to hear and respond to crew instructions in a matter of seconds and so on. And if the crew, in such a situation, instructs passengers to put the stuff away and the passenger refuses, the crew has the legal right to confiscate whatever it is for the remainder of the flight and return it to the passenger after the plane is at the gate. (i.e. rule 10 but with a firm declaration of the consequences of not following instructions) It is likely to rarely be needed but the safety of passengers including the one that might be hit in the head of your iPad flies through the air is more important than you being a douche etc.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #24 of 32
The maybe this Dawg-Awful safety video from Virgin America will never see the light of day? Editing not allowed with this formal 1smile.gif

http://hypervocal.com/entertainment/2013/virgin-america-safety-video/
Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephanJobs View Post


I've always put my in airplane mode prior to this and they still told me to turn it off.

Without fail Every time.

 

That's because the regulation was that it had be to be off. Which is part the change. Doesn't have to be powered off but has to be in airplane mode and not free sitting on a tray etc during takeoff and landing where it could fall. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

I guess "voice communications" are whatever a flight attendant sees that looks like someone making a phone call, and a cell phone is whatever device being used in that case.

 

 

It will likely be firmly defined to anything where you are talking out. into a phone, into an iPad with FaceTime etc. The idea is that you aren't being a jerk to fellow passengers by making noise. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post


Oh, and what is FaceTime over WiFi (I did that on Delta last spring)... is that "voice communications" and therefore banned on iPhones, but allowed on iPads and MacBooks?
Or do they mean ?cellular telephone calls'?

Things will get worse before they get better.

Guy next to me tried to make a FaceTime call out of MSP last week. I ended it with an uncontrollable fit of coughing.
A) Gogo's terms of service prohibit the use of streaming apps, Skype calls and the like because they chew up a disproportionate amount of limited bandwidth, and using them is a complete douche canoe move.
B) Guy sounded like "Da Bears" skit from SNL, and it was either politely end his call with coughing, or throw my complimentary drink in his face.

Don't be THAT guy, alright? You can iMessage or email like everyone else. If you need to look at their face while you converse, tell them to send you a picture.
post #28 of 32
"A flight's crew can instruct passengers to turn their devices off in rare instances, such as low-visibility."

Ok, either devices can interfere with operation of the aircraft or they can't. One the one hand the FAA is saying they can't, so go ahead an use them. But the statement above clearly says they think the devices can interfere. In cases of low visibility pilots are more reliant on their instruments and there's a chance your device could interfere with those instruments. Hm, I'd like to think that even on a clear, calm day, even if not needed, the pilot has his whole range of instruments functioning properly.



That said, I'm sure the rule is technically sound, just how do they expect flight crews to enforce it by any practical means. It takes a fraction of a second to see that a screen is off (of course, that's no guarantee the device is shut down), but how many seconds to verify that an active device is in flight mode...times how many people on the plan? So basically, this means that while the flight crew will make the required announcement, there will be absolutely no enforcement.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

"A flight's crew can instruct passengers to turn their devices off in rare instances, such as low-visibility."

Ok, either devices can interfere with operation of the aircraft or they can't. One the one hand the FAA is saying they can't, so go ahead an use them. But the statement above clearly says they think the devices can interfere. In cases of low visibility pilots are more reliant on their instruments and there's a chance your device could interfere with those instruments. Hm, I'd like to think that even on a clear, calm day, even if not needed, the pilot has his whole range of instruments functioning properly.



That said, I'm sure the rule is technically sound, just how do they expect flight crews to enforce it by any practical means. It takes a fraction of a second to see that a screen is off (of course, that's no guarantee the device is shut down), but how many seconds to verify that an active device is in flight mode...times how many people on the plan? So basically, this means that while the flight crew will make the required announcement, there will be absolutely no enforcement.

This entire argument would be less hostile if the FAA would tell the truth about the use of these devices.  The truth is:

1.  Nobody really knows for sure if using a device can cause trouble on an airplane in flight.

2.  So many pilots, and their regulators in the FAA are of the opinion that it would be best to not use these devices during the takeoff and landing phase of flight.  just in case.

3.  The likelihood of a device that is not transmitting can cause trouble is infinitesimally low.

4.  The chance that a device which is transmitting (e.g., a cellphone conversation) is really low, but how would you like to be on the flight that crashed on takeoff due to a cellular transmission?  That would make it 100% for you...wouldn't it?  Want to find out the hard way?

5.  The real (possible) problem has noting to do with the navigation.  It has to do with the fact that almost all airliners today use flight controls that are controlled by computers which take inputs from the pilot's controls and convert them into electrical signals that, in turn activate the flight controls.  That's the fear of those of us who are concerned.  

6.  Yes.  All the wires are shielded.  But are they shielded for all different types of inputs?  No.  Costs too much.  And every RF transmission that crosses a wire (to shielded for that specific RF freq) has the potential to cause a voltage jump.

7.  When the airplane is close to the ground there is a very limited time to do something about a pending crash caused by spurious flight control inputs.  

8.  I agree.  It's really nice to be able to make calls at all times.  That's what makes cellphones so darn useful.  But is it really too much to ask that people refrain from transmitting for 15 minutes for takeoff and another 15 for landing?  I mean...since the truth is that no one really, really knows for sure?

9.  How would you like to lose your life because someone else on the plane though their conversation was so critical that it was more important than your life?

10.  Someday this will no longer be a problem because an increasing number of planes will have optical circuitry instead of electrical.  then the problem will become moot.  (I think)

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post #30 of 32

And I have to sympathize with all who are frustrated by the fact that each crew and each airline seems to treat the subject differently.  Often is is airline policy to deal with the situation in a specific way (Airplane mode...v...Full off).  Sometimes it is no more than an overcautious (and sometimes arrogant and hostile) lead flight attendant who makes the decision.

 

not a perfect system at all.  But the facts are still the facts.

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post #31 of 32

A few things:  From the question:  iPads further restrict a pilots visibility how? 

 

When we land using instruments only, things like the compass can become very important.  Think about this situation.  Heavy clouds down to 300 feet, all is going great on a instrument landing, random power issue, instruments go down.  All I have is my compass.

 

Then, the kicker, was on a check flight the other day and made a joke about this issue.  My check pilot pulled out his iPhone and asked me to watch the compass, and wow, it spun about 5 degrees.  

 

5 degrees is enough to put the above aircraft off the runway.

 

I agree, long shot, but is possible.  The other item that has not been discussed much is all those phones in a bad landing are no longer phones, they become the thing that just knocked your 'I have to have my game going during landing' head.  Just like the guy who is up to use the restroom is the guy that just took out a row of passengers.  Does not happen often, but does happen, and as someone who travels a good amount, why not error on the side of safety.

post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It's about time. I've always ignored the stupid rule anyway, so it won't change how I operate.

-1
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