Earlier this year, we heard reports that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was looking to relax its policies regarding the use of electronic devices on airplanes.

At the time, the Administration had started allowing pilots to use their iPads in the cockpit. And now it looks like it’s ready to start making changes for the passengers as well…

GigaOM passes along a recent announcement from the FAA calling for opinions on the use of portable electronic devices in-flight during the airplane’s takeoff and landing.

As most of you know, current procedure is for passengers to power-down all electronics while an aircraft is either taking off or landing, in fear that they may affect the craft’s avionics.

These devices include iPads, Kindles, e-readers and other gadgets. And the agency wants to hear from passengers, airlines, flight attendants and electronics-makers on the issue.

If you’re interested in contributing your opinion, GigaOM details how to do so:

“Send comments identified by dock number FAA-2012-0752 using any of the following methods:

  • Email: Submit your comments via email to PEDcomment@faa.gov.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Mail: Send comments to Dock Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001
  • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251″

Who knows, if enough comments get sent in in favor of using devices in the aforementioned situations, you may never have to turn off your iPad while on an airplane again.

  • I never turn my laptop or iPod touch of I just turn of wifi and Bluetooth. I’ve been on over 25 flights and ive never been told to turn any of my tech off. Weird thing happens at about 30000 feet, my apple headphones will start to get quieter and quieter until at about 35,000 feet they go silent even tho my iPod says they are playing at about 70% volume.

    • the air pressure is affecting your ears,
      not necessarily the equipment.

  • Bitch Please… Here in Australia each passenger that use Qantas Airlines gets an iPad to use for free as soon as you board the plane.

    • @dongiuj

      With only one app.

    • peter

      ROFL “bitch please”

  • Geeks on Hugs

    There is certainly no danger caused but I actually like when flying it being the one place and time where you can disconnect for a while.

    I don’t mind them changing the rules but i’d like there to be a policy for no sound except for headphones (including no calls) and brightness set as dim as possible at night.

  • TheAntman217

    I actually like to not use my stuff while takeoff because I love the feeling of departure when you are going up. It’s the one time I feel like I am going on some space adventure or something else imaginative. I don’t want to ruin it by reading stupid twitter posts or watching a funny cat video on YouTube. People take flying for granted. It’s like Louis C.K. said, “you are sitting on a chair IN THE AIR!!!” enjoy that shit.

    • Geeks on Hugs


    • goofygreek

      I do not think i could have said that better. Nice touch with the Louis C.K. quote.

  • BigVinnieG

    I understand that the electronics probably don’t interfere with the instruments due to the fact you can use them in flight, but I don’t like the fact that an iPad or kindle could become a flying object due to the sometimes violent nature of takeoff and landing. It is bad enough that I have seen this happen inflight due to unexpected turbulence. Another thing to think about is everyone should have full attention with the plane and flight crew during these criticle times. Not to have their noise canceling headphones on watching a movie or listening to music for example. I think everyone can wait the 5 minutes it takes to takeoff and land to resume their work or recreation to practice a safe flight. Also I don’t think that the flight crew should not have to police everyone to see how they are using their device (ex. 3G, phone calls and Skype) I would much prefer that they pay attention to getting the plane ready for departure, unreasonable people and potential terrorists. This to me just seems more important than anything else.