The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is to open an investigation into the use of electronics on board commercial flights, bringing hope that the current ban on the use of gadgets during landing and take-off could be overturned.
As anyone who has flown on a commercial flight will know, passengers are asked to switch off all electronic devices during landing and takeoff while those without radio transmission capabilities – including smartphones switched into ‘flight mode’ – can be used during cruising.
In the last few years, however, the sheer volume of electronic devices carried by passengers has exploded. As well as the aforementioned smartphone, devices which distract passengers from the horrors of economy-class travel include MP3 players, multimedia players, tablets, eReaders, laptops, netbooks and more.
While the FAA is only able to mandate rules for flights above US soil, its rules are monitored closely by equivalent organisations in other countries.