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FCC Tells FAA to Get Moving on In-Flight Electronics Rules

December 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM | by | ()

We were going to spin an entire post out of a throwaway line published in The Hill last week, where the journalist dropped in a half-sentence about how "most passengers" want to use cell phones in the air. Polls have over and over again shown the exact opposite, with almost the only exception being a Fly.com poll that seemed more about publishing a press release than figuring out what people believe. But we're not sure it's fair to inflict our travel-journalist-nerd-bravado on you guys just because we can.

So instead we're going to point out what is true in that Hill story, which is that the FCC is pushing the FAA to permit more in-flight electronics use.

You'll remember this as a story that began in March and extended through August. Seemingly at random, the FAA began telling journalists that the agency was studying maybe possibly some day loosening restrictions on, for instance, using iPads during takeoff. Or as we described it in August, "FAA Spending Year Reviewing Electronics Rules, Not Doing Anything About Them."

Fast forward to last week, and the FAA still hasn't done anything about the rules (so you can also consider this post your reminder to always trust content from Jaunted). But what has happened is that the FCC—the agency that allegedly bans cell phone use during flights, but doesn't really—sent a letter to the FAA to telling the agency to get "enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices" during flights. Hopefully the 'get a hold of yourself' memo will move the FAA, which has to make the final decision, to stop studying the regulations and start actually changing them.

Though not the cell phone ban. That needs to stay in place. Can you imagine?

[Photo: dougbelshaw / Flickr]

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