The annoying requirement to power down mobile devices during flight take-off and landing has finally been lifted.
Those traveling by air will soon be able to utilize portable electronic devices throughout all periods of flight, with certain restrictions, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced last week.
Clifton Steele, chief authenticator at Davie, Fla.-based managed services provider Biztek, is cheering the FAA's decision.
"As wireless coverage increases and data-share plans become the norm, I expect to see more of a shift to taking the entire office wherever we go," said Steele. "Since I was a little kid, it always seemed silly to me but plausible that radio waves could somehow interfere with navigation equipment. Either way I am glad the ban is over."
Based on recommendations from experts including aviation manufacturers, passengers, pilots, flight attendants and the mobile technology industry, the ban was lifted, allowing passengers to utilize their tablets, laptops, mobile phones and e-book readers below 10,000 feet.
While most airlines will have to wait to prove the safe use of personal devices, Delta will be the first airline with permission to implement the change, according to the FAA.
The previous ban that kept electronic devices powered down during lift-off and landing has never been proven to disturb flight, said Daniel Castro, senior analyst at Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, in an interview.
"There was never really any clear evidence that there were problems, just abundant caution saying you can't use electronics during take-off and landing on commercial flights," Castro told CRN. "Today with the use of consumer electronics, it made sense that the FAA would have to revisit these rules because people don't bring magazines and books on the plane; they are bringing e-book readers and iPads."
The ban was implemented in the early 90s, despite the lack of presented evidence that any electronic device would interfere with the plane's navigation, said Castro.
"We know that from what we've seen -- there is no evidence, and it's important to voice this," said Castro. "It's kind of hard to say every single device [brought] on a plane will never cause any interference. But you can say that every consumer device we tested so far hasn't shown any interference."
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