FAA to Re-Evaluate Portable Electronics Policies on Commercial Aircraft

By gguarino | August 27, 2012
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FAA is forming a government-industry group to re-evaluate the current portable electronic device (PED) policies that regulate when devices can be used safely during commercial flights.

The current FAA regulations require aircraft operators to determine that the radio frequencies emitted from PEDs do not interfere with flight safety before the operator authorizes them for use during certain phases of flight.

FAA said the government-industry group will examine the testing methods used by aircraftoperators to determine which new technologies can be safely used aboard aircraft and at what phases during flight they can be used.

The use of cell phones during flight will not be considered.

“With so many different types of devices available, we recognize that this is an issue of consumer interest,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Safety is our highest priority, and we must set appropriate standards as we help the industry consider when passengers can use the latest technologies safely during a flight.”

The new government-industry group will be established in the fall and conduct its study for six months prior to presenting its recommendations to FAA.

“We’re looking for information to help air carriers and operators decide if they can allow more widespread use of electronic devices in today’s aircraft,” said Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We also want solid safety data to make sure tomorrow’s aircraft designs are protected from interference.”

FAA said it is also seeking public input via a "Request for Comments" section that will be placed in the Federal Register on its website beginning Aug. 28.  

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