- (Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
"Please turn off all electronic devices," is a common message given to travelers while on the plane, but is there any purpose behind the rule? The FCC has challenged those responsible for prohibiting passengers from using electronic devices on planes.
The Federal Communications Commission is pushing for the Federal Aviation Administration to review the rule that prohibits passengers from having electronics on during take off and landing. Years of testing have yet to reveal whether or not electronic devices can interfere with an aircraft.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski argued in a letter last week to the FAA that communication devices had become a broader part of people's lives. His letter was in response to a review announced by the FAA earlier in the year.
"This review comes at a time of tremendous innovation, as mobile devices are increasingly interwoven in our daily lives," Genachowski said.
The FAA study reviewed the use of in-flight electronics, but the organization stated that allowing "voice communications" during flights would not be considered, according to a report by The Hill.
As part of persuading the FAA to ease its regulations, Genachowski went as far as to state the electronics not only enabled important commutations between family members, but also bolstered the economy.
"They empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family, and they enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness," he argued.
A number of critics have come forward complaining about the rule and citing the lack of evidence regarding the interference of electronics. A CNN report stated that out of studies conducted over the past 20 years, none were able to prove that electronics could serve as an issue to aircrafts.
The report also suggested that certain aircraft manufacturers had posed concern over the fact that electronic devices may interfere with the planes' navigation system, although the organization has been unable to provide evidence to back their concerns.
Despite the lack of evidence, some passengers suggested that they preferred the regulation to being forced than listen to a cell phone conversation while on a plane.