FAA: Consumer Electronics for Cabins, Not Cockpits

Last week the FAA moved in two opposite directions, proposing a rule that would ban the use of personal electronics by airline pilots in the cockpit, but also responding favorably to a call to loosen restrictions on such devices in the passenger cabin. The rule on pilots’ use was prompted, in part, by an incident where the crew said they were engaged in a discussion involving their laptop computers as the airplane overflew its destination by several minutes.

The move to relax rules on passenger use stems from reports from a panel that met at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. A press release from the Airline Passenger Experience Association stemming from the CES panel supported less restriction on using devices.

APEX posted a video of the panel on its website, countering FAA arguments to date for banning the use of the devices. The panel also underscored the potential for job creation and entrepreneurial expansion if on board apps and services were to be given free rein.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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