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Politics & Current Affairs

FAA to Consider iPad use During Flights

The FAA is forming a panel to investigate the possible future use of tablets and smart phones throughout flights.

What’s the Latest Development?

Kindles, iPads, smart phones—all have been banned from being used on flights, including during take-off and landing, due to a perceived risk of radio interference to flight operations. But now the FAA is forming a “government-industry study panel and seeking public comment about the possible use of portable electronic devices… and more specifically voice over IP communications during flights.” The group is asking for public comment over the next 60 days and the study is meant to be ongoing over the next six months.

What’s the Big Idea?

It’s very possible that in the near future, you will be able to play Angry Birds and Skype with your tablet or smart phone during flights. One of the largest concerns with allowing these personal electronic devices is for voice over IP communication, as used in Skype or Google chat, to interrupt other passengers. The disruptive nature of holding such conversations is largely what has kept cell-phone use from being allowed on planes. So, in the balance of safety, convenience, and the concern for fellow passengers, the FAA may soon allow passengers to fire up their Kindles during flights.

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