FAA Electronics Ban Eased: Airplane Passengers Allowed to Keep Devices On?

Following pressure from numerous passengers failing to follow guidelines, the Federal Aviation Administration stated Friday that it would ease rules against using in-flight electronics during takeoffs and landings. The new changes, however, could take months to come into effect.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday that it would ease the ban on most personal electronics usage during low altitude flying, following studies that report the rules may have little use. The FAA said in a statement that it understood consumers' concerns over the practicality of the rules.

"That is why we tasked a government-industry group to examine the safety issues and the feasibility of changing the current restrictions," the organization said.

The FAA announced its investigation into the safety issues surrounding personal electronics usage on board in December of last year. At the time, it was stated that voice communications would not be considered, continuing the ban on cell phone conversations at low altitudes. Numerous studies have been completed on the dangers of mixed communication signals during a plane's take off and landing, however few if any issues have been discovered.

But easing the ban on electronics will not be an immediate action FAA officials said, and is pending the completion of the government-industry group study.

"At the group's request, the FAA has granted a two-month extension to complete the additional work necessary for the safety assessment. We will wait for the group to finish its work before we determine next steps."

The decision is in response to numerous customers failing to follow in-flight regulations regarding personal electronic usage at low altitudes, primarily during take off and landing.