The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a press article yesterday that it is lifting the rule barring electronics to be used below 10,000 feet, depending on if the carrier and the plane you are currently on has passed a FAA certification.
While many commercial carriers seem to be working on getting their planes certified, what this means for most passengers is that soon, you will be able to use your lightweight personal electronic devices (smartphones, music players, portable gaming devices, and tablets, for example) while you are waiting for the plane to take off, as well as during take off.
The FAA says here are the Top Things Passengers Should Know about Expanded Use of PEDs on Airplanes:
1. Make safety your first priority.
2. Changes to PED policies will not happen immediately and will vary by airline. Check with your airline to see if and when you can use your PED.
3. Current PED policies remain in effect until an airline completes a safety assessment, gets FAA approval, and changes its PED policy.
4. Cell phones may not be used for voice communications.
5. Devices must be used in airplane mode or with the cellular connection disabled. You may use the WiFi connection on your device if the plane has an installed WiFi system and the airline allows its use. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
6. Properly stow heavier devices under seats or in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing. These items could impede evacuation of an aircraft or may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident.
7. During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember’s instructions.
8. It only takes a few minutes to secure items according to the crew’s instructions during takeoff and landing.
9. In some instances of low visibility – about one percent of flights – some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.
10. Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.
Maybe it’s finally time to play some dramatic/action takeoff music through your earphones during takeoff. 😉