New FAA guidelines mean that flyers won’t face such strict regulations for playing Angry Bird, or what ever it is they’re doing on their smart devices, during take-off and landing. Given that previously, flyers were instructed to turn off their devices it is well-known that most of us simple put them on silent or just in our pocket, defiant of the rules of the airline. At least now we can continue what we were doing but not be breaking the rules from now on.
The rules will depend on each airline though, so don’t start-up WhatsApp to your friend a few rows away just yet. Although it is expected that most, if not all airlines will allow you to use your phone in airplane mode throughout the entire duration of the flight by the end of the year.
These rules will apply to eBook readers, gaming devices, video devices, mp3 players, etc. So long as the devices are in Airplane Mode for landing and take off, but the rest of the time you will be able to use your devices Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features to connect your smart devices.
Regulatory organizations have issued a simple check list to ensure that flyers can still meet the new rules.
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.
Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.