If you’ve been on even one airplane in your life, you’re surely familiar with the flight attendant’s instructions to turn off all cell phones and electronic devices as the plane prepares for takeoff. Once the plane reaches cruising altitude, you’re generally allowed to listen to music, watch a movie, read on your Kindle, or hammer away at the presentation you’re giving 20 minutes after you land.
But that isn’t enough, and consumers want more. The FAA has been swamped with complaints in recent years, so they’re finally doing something about it.
“We’re looking for information to help air carriers and operators decide if they can allow more widespread use of electronic devices in today’s aircraft,” said Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
The FAA is establishing a government-industry group, including members from all areas of aviation, from manufacturing to passenger groups. They’ll meet for the next six months and make further recommendations to the FAA.
One thing worth noting (and being happy about): you won’t get stuck at 30,000 feet with no escape from the annoying guy screaming into his bluetooth headset three rows back. According to the FAA press release: “The group will not consider the airborne use of cell phones for voice communications during flight.”