(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Flight passengers will now have more access to their mobile devices while in-flight. On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration signed off on the groundbreaking move.
During the flight, passengers will now be able to us Portable Electronic Devices, otherwise known as PEDs, during all flight phases.
In a press release, the FAA stressed that regulations may vary from airline to airline but noted that most airlines would “prove” their airplanes’ abilities to allow in-flight communications before the conclusion of 2013.
Despite the move, there is a catch. If you’re planning on using a mobile device, the FAA wants customers to keep them in airplane mode while in-flight. Having devices set in airplane mode would not allow users to make in-flight telephone calls but would allow them to perform tasks such as reading e-books, watching videos and playing games.
Users will also be able to access the internet by connecting their respective devices to an airplane’s Wi-Fi.
“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,” stated Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx via a press release.
Fox also noted that the initiative reflected input from entities such as pilots, manufacturers, passengers and flight attendants.
Current limitations on the use of PEDs will remain in effect until airlines complete safety assessments.
The FAA originally began its restrictions on user devices all the way back in 1966 – a move made response to interference caused by FM radios.