The FAA is reportedly close to removing most of the current restrictions on using a tablet during plane flights.
As it stands now, it’s permissible to use a tablet once the plane is above 10,000 feet, but they must be off during takeoffs and landings.
The last meeting of an FAA advisory panel on this topic is scheduled for this week, and it will recommend new rules by the end of the month, according to The New York Times.
The new rules will allegedly allow tablets to be on during an entire flight, but they will not permit them connecting to a Wi-Fi network when the plane is below 10,000 feet.
A cellular-wireless connection will still be prohibited during any stage of the flight. This means phone calls will not be allowed.
Once the panel’s recommendations are submitted to the FAA it will be up to that government agency to make the final decision. Any changes are expected to go into effect next year.
The panel has made the recommendations it was expected to: that people be allowed to use tablets, laptops, etc. for ebooks, games, video and other non-wireless tasks when planes are below 10,000 feet.
Amazon’s Drew Herdener said “We’ve been fighting for our customers on this issue for years — testing an airplane packed full of Kindles, working with the FAA, and serving as the device manufacturer on this committee. This is a big win for customers and, frankly, it’s about time”.
Source: New York Times