Time to Rethink Use of Devices on Planes

Date Posted:2 November 2013 

The rules about using electronic devices on planes may soon change, according to Tech Guide's Stephen Fenech.

US aviation authorities are planning to remove the current restrictions on device usage.

Current devices are a natural companion for travellers, providing music, e-books and films for people to enjoy. However, airlines have offered a variety of reasons for why they can't be used on board, from claiming they interfere with navigation to refuelling. Even devices in flight mode, which involves disabling radio transmission, often have to be put away.

Taking off and landing are the most dangerous times on a flight and many people appreciate the need for bulky items such as laptops to be stowed away during this time. However, critics argue there is no need to put away smartphones and tablets.

The Federal Aviation Administration has agreed with this point of view and will be relaxing its rules on their use, although customers will still not be allowed to make or receive calls.