Gadgets in the Air – Under Review

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One of the rules that has boggled me for years is why when traveling in the air we are forced to turn off our gadgets when landing and taking off. This never really made since to me. Although many of these gadgets do broadcast wireless signals, up again the power of a modern airplane their capability of “interfering” with flight operations to my knowledge has never been proven or explained to the traveling public.

The manufactures of these “gadgets” have tried to work around this crazy rule by adding an ‘airplane mode” option. This option when turned on turns off all wireless activity. However if you ever tried to explain this to a stewardess after being told to turn your Nook off you understand that it is a battle you will not win.

There finally is some hope for us who fly regularly. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reportedly putting together a group to re-examine current testing procedures and policies airlines have in place for gadgets. However this group will not be considering airborne use of cell phones for voice communication.

Baby steps are better than no steps at all. Especially considering that these policies and procedures are way behind the speed at which we adopt new technology. This newly formed group will look at how these devices are tested for use in the air. In addition the current standards for use of portable electronic devices on board an airplane will be closely looked at.