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U.S. Senator Promising Legislative Action Allowing In-Air Use of Electronic Devices if FAA Doesn't Act

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has sent a letter to the head of the Federal Aviation Administration saying the flying public is "growing increasingly skeptical" of prohibitions on the use of electronic devices like tablets and computers during the beginning and end of flights. ( さらに...

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sgilman 8
I believe the rule is in place to keep the passengers attentive during the critical phases of flight. Also, it is much easier to enforce NO electronic devices, then it is to deal with a hodge podge of "approved" devices.
Senator McCaskill doesn't realize the safety issues. The last thing the airlines need is to kill a bunch of pax because they were busy playing games on their ipads, rather than listening to crew member instructions. Liberals are all about "fairness" so this doesn't surprise me coming from her! I don't know about anyone else, I don't care to listen to other peoples phone conversations on the airplane.
Well, the last comment down in this thread from ibpilot72 makes a real good case to keep them stowed. With emergency procedures coming over the PA and the possibilites of turbulence on t/o or landing, it is not an interference thing. Another makes the comments about GPS signals being so weak and possible interference, and I am like you, I wouldn't like to listen to one side of a conversation from a pax I couldn't get away from, for the duration of a flight. I have never understood what could be that important that it couldn't wait a bit.
You could politely ask them to put it on speaker so the rest of us could enjoy the very important conversation. Sometimes they turn funny colors, and even on occasion hang up.
btweston 0
Well, after all, it is all about you. We don't live in a society consisting of different people with different wants and desires and the equal right to achieve them or anything like that. Nope. Just your narrow worldview.
JD345 2
My narrow worldview is better than your narrow worldview.
Oh great! Some self-important politician with a JD and no technical training will try to force the FAA to alter a technical regulation. She probably wants to regulate medical procedures as well.

Is the current restriction overkill? Probably, but it beats the alternative. I had an early cell phone that used to cause havoc with my aircraft radio. Imagine 150+ people using wireless on board.
btweston -2
Actually, the very reason legislators exist is to... um... legislate. I think that idea is illustrated somewhere in that Constitution of ours. Like, the first sentence of the first article.

Your random assumption about medical procedures is, well, random.

We'd really be much better off if we based our opinions on verifiable facts rather than stuff we made up so that we'd have something to whine about on anonymous message boards.
You are correct that it is the job of legislators to legislate. But it is not their job to get so deep into the weeds that they dictate every little nuance of Federal policy. The laws are written rather vaguely to allow the agencies with the subject matter experts to determine the exact details. Even if Sen. McCaskill were a subject matter expert in her own right, it is not her job to dictate the details of federal policy.

If it is written into the US Code that passengers may use whatever electronic devices they wish, then the FAA will be powerless if something comes along that could actually impact the electronic and electrical systems on the aircraft.
JD345 1
If there's one problem in our country, it's that we don't have enough federal laws on the books.
You, sir, are definitely not a Republican or a Libertarian. I am neither, but laws do not necessarily need to be specific. Could you imagine how long it would take to add something to or remove something from TSA's prohibited items list if it required an Act of Congress? It already takes forever!

[This poster has been suspended.]

JD345 3
Exactly, trying to get an airplane lost with a cell phone signal is like trying to capsize a battleship by rocking back and forth.
People just do not realize, every single digital electronic device, including, believe it or not, many modern flashlights, emit radio energy. Yes, every single one! And no two are going to emit the same spectrum or power. If you drop your device, and damage it slightly, but not enough to make it unusable, you may change, significantly, the amount of radio energy it emits. In addition to the unintended, but still very real radio emissions, many devices deliberately transmit radio waves, including every wifi device, every Bluetooth device, every wireless mouse. Now, most people also do not realize that some of the signals airplane systems need to receive are very weak. GPS signals probably top the list. They are weak signals that require sensitive antennas and receivers to pick up at all. Modern airplanes are using GPS to guide you to the runway, down low to the ground, through clouds and rain when the pilots can't see the runway till you are only a few hundred feet up. Is this the time you want to find out that little Bobby's Nintendo has messed with the GPS signals? I don't think so.
It's not even that... a laptop during a take off can become a projectile in a matter of seconds if things begin to unfold abnormally - it's take offs and landings that jolt the planes around the most. It has very little to do with interference.
JD345 1
Consumer electronic devices are not going to disrupt "weak" GPS signals.
Even if the FAA were to allow electronic devices during departure and arrival, airlines would still prohibit their use. The only real reason flight attendants exist is to help in the event of an emergency. The LEAST the passengers can do is wait to tweet until above 10,000.
JD345 2
It's really getting ridiculous how wedded people are to their damn cell phones. If people have to stop a conversation to read a new text and reply to it, it's good for them to go a couple minutes without the stupid thing on. I don't care how important you think you are, it can wait...
How about mid flight, after clearing the class B airspace? That shouldn't be a problem...
So....I ma not allowed to read a book on my 8 ounce iPad because it is a projectile hazard, but I CAN read a conventional, paper book that weighs significantly more? We have all seen reliable information (not the least of which is on this forum)that indicates that unintended the electronic interference is not an issue, and if someone were to intentionally cause a problem, they are not going to comply anyway. This has evolved into a rights issue. It is my right not to have to participate unwillingly in a cell conversation - and that right to be undisturbed trumps the right to have the conversation. Air rage over the current trivial issues (arm rests)is nothing compared to that if cell phone conversations are allowed....
well, actually, you are not supposed to be reading your book. Regardless if you are a milion miler and have heard it all before, you are supposed to be listening to the FA. My personal opinion is that just like the flight crews, you sit down, buckle up, shut up and hold on until we t/o or land. The cabin ought to be sterile just like the cockpit.
Just sayin'
The FAA could end this rather quickly with a public statement that the reason all items must be turned off and stowed is not due to interference but to keep it from becoming a projectile in case of an accident/aborted takeoff/whatever emergency. Your iPod may not weigh that much, but I'm sure it hurts like a m*&!)^#(%$@r when it hits someone in the head.
Sam Andrews 1
I have a hard time believing that my GPS "RECEIVER" that I use onboard to "RECEIVE" GPS signals is going to effect the avionics in the nose of the airliner. (Ilike to know where I am) I can accept the premise that if everyone in the back of the plane is using an electronic device then the "trons" floating around the plane could conceibably be overwhelming, but again the likelihood is not there.
Get around the projectile issue by saying that devices must be secured. That coud be done with a lanyard kin to the ankle line thata asurfers use, or a lapboard device.
It is standard operating procedure when fueling to not smoke and talk on the cell phone. USNaval vessels secure all RF emissions when loading ordnance.
The passenger brief is also an FAA requirement but honeslty does no one who flies more than once in their life not know that you donn the oxygen mask before you help your child? Certainly everyone knows how to work a seatbelt.
Ms. McCaskill is probably more concerned about her in convenience than the flying public.
preacher1 -5
Well, I think that a Senator, especially right now, has more to do than get involved with this. That said, she is probably just as frustrated as everybody else and is trying to get the FAA off it's duff. It is ascenine for them to allow the Ipads for the flight crew and deny them to the pax. Cell phones are another issue. While they might not interfere with the plane, there have been noted problems with ground stations and most folks cannot talk on one without 40-11 people having to listen to them. On a plane, you have no place to go. The FAA does need to resolve the issue, and quickly.
What she probably doesn't know, nor does the flying public is, as flightcrew, we are required to have the iPads secured for take-off and landing, whether it be an approved lap-board, or other securing device. The passengers have no way of securing their devices to prevent them from becoming projectiles in an emergency, other than keeping them stowed properly until it is deemed safe to use. Advisory Circular 120-76B states:

"h. Stowage Area for EFB. EFB stowage is required for all EFBs not secured in or on a
mounting device. If an EFB mounting device is not provided, designate an area to stow the EFB. Stowage requires an inherent means to prevent unwanted EFB movement when not in use. Dothis in a manner that prevents the device from jamming flight controls, damaging flight deck equipment, or injuring flightcrew members should the device move about as a result of
turbulence, maneuvering, or other action. The stowage area should not obstruct visual or physical access to controls and/or displays, flightcrew ingress or egress, or external vision. Acceptable stowage locations for a Class 1 EFB include the inside compartments of the pilot’s stowed flight bag."

So I believe the issue is the danger that a device becomes a projectile more than it being an issue of it interferring with navigation and communication capabilities. The safest place for a passengers personal electronic device (PED) is in their bag or briefcase, since there are no secured mounting devices available for passsengers.


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