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Squawks & HeadlinesFAA to Allow Airlines to Expand Use of Personal Electronics

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FAA to Allow Airlines to Expand Use of Personal Electronics

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The U.S. Department of Transportation\’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta today announced that the FAA has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance. (www.faa.gov) More...

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skylloyd
skylloyd 6
You can bet the FA's are going to have their hands full trying to keep the gadgets under control LOL
pdixonj
pdixonj 7
Exactly...how are they supposed to know if someone's device is in airplane mode or not? While taxiing for t/o, a person can type a text with the intention on saving and sending it at a later time, or they can be shooting those texts off right there on the spot...the f/a wouldn't know which they were doing without asking the person, and that person almost certainly would lie and say "yeah, it's in airplane mode". The same goes for downloaded movie watching vs. streaming, and reading saved articles vs. those just pulled up off the web.

And how are they supposed to know which devices are considered too large or heavy for use during takeoff and landing? Will tape measures and scales now be standard issue for them? The FAA is only giving airlines clear "guidance" on the rule change, but it's still up to each individual airline to decide which specific devices are acceptable for use on their aircraft and at what specific times they can be used...which can wind up leading to confusion, especially among those travelers that aren't loyal to one airline.
bbabis
Bill Babis 5
I still say, take the obsolete "No Smoking" sign and make it a "No PED" sign. It can be chimed on/off for takeoff, landing, or cabin safety announcements. The FAs then have no other concerns. The devices can be out and used or must be put away. First violation, a warning, the second time your device becomes property of the airline until disembarking. Read the sign.
cplang
Chris Langdon 5
I feel bad for the flight attendants. More monitoring who is in airplane mode. Plus..and this huge..more people will not pay attention to the safety instructions they review before the flight.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 3
Great idea, Bill. But people never paid attention to the "NO SMOKING" sign. And they don't pay attention to the "SEATBELT" sign. Do you really think they will pay attention to a "NO PED" sign? Don't think so. And you comment, "FA's then have no other concerns"-?? I beg to differ. Now, the FA's will have to "police" passengers with laptops- making sure that they are stowed properly for take-off and landing. And they are going to be confronted with passengers that will refuse to stow them when they are asked to do so by the Flight Crew.
Passengers, now can have their "Kindle Fire" out from gate to gate. Personally, I would like to see them stowed for take-off and landing, as well. A "Kindle Fire" weighs 14.6 oz. Almost a pound. And if on take-off or landing the aircraft encountered an unfortunate event...such as a collapsed gear or even hitting a seawall...that "Kindle Fire" will definately turn into a killer projectile and will fly thru the cabin with unbelievable velocity. As far as PED's being on "Airplane Mode"...there is no way FA's can monitor that, nor should they have to, it will basically be on the "honor system". People have to start taking responsibility and comply with the rules and regulations and comply with Flight Attendant instructions. Sure would make for a more pleasant flight if everybody did that.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear friend Dee Lowry, please consider and enlighten about the use of jammers ! At number of places such systems are deployed to prevent photography by DSLRs or use of mobile phones and so on.
If so, why can't a similar jammer be deployed on the aircraft to prevent usage of PEDs when NOT desired ? Just the opposite of availability of wi-fi network ?
Either such a technology already exists and only needs proliferation OR it can be developed considering the wide spread applicability, from commercial viability point of view !
MHO
DrBHathaway
DrBHathaway 1
Keep in mind that if the concern is noise and interference over the frequencies the devices access, then "jamming" those frequencies would inherently mean generating lots of noise on those frequencies, compounding the problem.
bbabis
Bill Babis 1
Dee, you must also be a FA. If so, thank you for your service. The signs get ignored because there are no repercussions. I believe there are already laws about interfering with a flight crew and failing to follow the directives of a flight crew so we don't need new ones. What we need is realistic enforcement of the ones we have. The only new one may be something along the lines of a "No Fly" list for passengers deemed unruly or unsafe to other passengers. Sentencing to the list would be anywhere from a month to life depending on the gravity of the infraction and past history. No doubt it would make news and future passengers would get the message.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Thankyou, Bill. Yes. I am a retired F/A with 30+ years beneath my wings! And Yes ...there is a Federal Aviation Regulation...FAR 91.11 "Prohibition on Interference with Crewmembers. It states: "No person may assault, threaten, inimidate, or interfere with a crewmember in the performance of the crewmember's duties aboard an aircraft being operated."
I agree that we need to enforce the rules and regulations that we already have. The problem is that we don't enforce them enough and the penalties need to be more strict and enforced, as well. The "NO FLY" List has been around for along time. And there are quite a few people on that list. I believe that when you have made the grade and your name is on that "honor" List...it's for life! The company and the employees do not and will not see your face ever again. I feel if assaults, interference or threats were made more public, people might get an education as to the consequences of these actions towards crewmembers.
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay -1
Does this mean no Performance-Enhancing Drugs? Just kidding.
vagabond79
Jon Kirby 4
Does this mean I will be able to use my DSLR to snap a few pictures on takeoffs and landings? I've always wanted to do that.
bbabis
Bill Babis 1
Sorry Jon, No one would want that hitting them in the head should something suddenly go terribly wrong on the takeoff or landing. But, I don't think it will be long before someone comes up with an airline accepted secure window mount for the Go-Pro. Then I'm sure the internet will become even more flooded with pics and vids of takeoffs and landings from the side windows.
Woody1011
Woody Woodruff 2
This is all passenger/customer driven. It has nothing to do with safety. We cannot be without our personal entertainment systems for more than minutes at a time. So, this was bound to happen. My cellphone causes GSM chatter on a landline phone, so interference is there. I lost the ILS going into ORF some years ago and investigation into the incident showed that the ILS was working properly and the on board receivers were, also. After a cabin search we had a gentlemen turn off his PED (only one we could find). 2nd approach was normal. BTW ceiling was 200 ft. Cat I was required.
I will NEVER claim that this PED was responsible, but it was the best I had on short notice. A second go around would have been cause for a low fuel divert to a field with better weather.
This is a lousy decision (in my opinion) by the FAA, but they never asked me and they never will. Airplanes are NOT going to fall out of the sky over this decision, but I suspect we will see increased navigational 'anomalies' in the future and maybe some comm freq 'bleed'. I am just 'old school' and cannot help it.
Fly safe!
petecourt
Pete Court 2
Ask a commercial pilot and they will say it has no effect on the plane or it’s systems at all. The cell carriers don't want you zipping by cell towers at 6oo mph, ties them up.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Hi Woodie. I feel that the "flying public" put so much pressure on the FAA and the airlines that they had to "cave in". The FAA says it is a safety-based decision but I personally have to disagree.
Believe it or not, there is a "PED Aviation Rulemaking Committee"...(ARC). And they concluded that..."most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference signals from PED's".
That quote doesn't give me much comfort, especially when you are on a 747-4, with a typical 2 class configuration, which holds appox 524 pax. If all 524 pax have a "PED" running at the same time...can you tell me that radio energy or frequencies won't interfere with the cockpit?

PED's that do not intentionally transmit signals can emit unintentional radio energy. This energy may effect aircraft safety because the signals can occur at the same frequencies used by the highly sensitive communications, navigation, flight control and electronic equipment.
Now, the Airlines have to prove that their "Fleet" can prevent potential interference that could pose a safety hazard. The Airline doesn't want to alienate the customer nor does the FAA want to alienate the Airline...$$$$$$$. It's not about safety it's about the "Bucks" and catering to the "I can't live without my PED" flying public!

I'm with you Woody! I'm "Old School" too. You Fly Safe, as well.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
Items are very well shielded during design and construction. That's as much for their own protection from outside influence as it is their being an influence to other systems.

When I fly a glass plane or analog, I usually have an iPad, smartphone and a camera with me. If another pilot goes with me, there's another iPad and smartphone.

We're right there on top of the avionics in the panel and several boxes a few feet behind us. The GPS and comm antennas are right above our head.

There has never been any interference. It won't be any different with several hundred pieces in the cabin.

Now, if you put them out there in the path between the VOR receiver antenna and the ILS array and especially the GS antenna...
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 2
It's a very welcome development. A timely evolution in the developing use of smart phones.
As well as a new mode for revenue earning .
PLUS a whole big field of competition. Who facilitates what apps during flight. And so on and so forth !
And may be the FA bell will ring less often.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
"FAA: Airlines can expand use of personal electronic devices"

http://www.avionics-intelligence.com/articles/2013/10/faa-peds.html

"The FAA is immediately giving airlines a clear path to safely expand PED use by passengers, and the Administrator will evaluate the rest of the ARC’s longer-term recommendations and respond at a later date. "
DIRECTFLT
DIRECTFLT 1
What about the use of a Bluetooth device with a smartphone, not to make a cell call, but to listen to music, for example ?
murrayhill3
Jim Murray 1
I take it pretty much for granted that what the FAA proclaims will have to be accepted by all foreign airlines as well. If so, that's a lot of clout! Other country's airlines will have to follow suit for this to work.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
I was not quite twelve on my first airline ride in 1972. My brother-in-law bought a kit for us to build in order to receive airline communications. I used it on the way home as I sat in the first row on the aisle. That rather primitive kit did not know the meaning of shielding as all our existing devices do. It did indeed cause some interference in the way of static beyond squelch levels on the comm radios. An FA came to me to ask me to turn it off. It was cool listening to the pilots talk but I did not hear anyone else.
Bernie20910
Bernie Behling 1
Should be pretty easy to equip the cabin crew with handheld detectors that would be simple to operate and pinpoint any PED not in airplane mode. That would cover existing aircraft. Later on a detection system could easily be designed and installed in the overhead that would "flag" any seat that had such transmissions coming from it. I'm surprised such devices are not already in use.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear Friends of FightAware,
Today, in India we are celebrating DIWALI, the festival of lights. A day to rejoice.
Primarily a Hindu festival but celebrated by all .
A day when we Hindus invoke Laxmi the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity to pray and seek Her blessings for all year round happiness for self and all.
Like Christmas the houses are decorated with lights , inside as well as outside.
May be some of you get to see some of it in various parts of the world where ever persons of Indian/Hindu origin live.
So, HAPPY DIWALI to you and your family members.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
I imagine it will be allowed as will Wifi from gate to gate though they likely won't allow laptops to be on tray tables.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
My Sony Walkman I used inflight in the 80's picked up cockpit comms.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
From what I have read, if the carrier provides Wi-Fi service during the flight, you can use short range Bluetooth accessories. Laptops will have to be stowed for take-off and landing.
aye7
Ayesha Khan 1
Wonder what the fee will be for using them now.....lol
DanDahlkemper
Dan Dahlkemper 1
They could send the instructions via Facebook and everyone would get them!
benin
benin 3
The sad thing is you're probably right. Watch the $25 laptop usage fee and $15 smartphone and tablet fees take flight. Oh the airlines are gonna get a kick out of this.
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 2
Not everyone. Only the people who have so much time on their hands to waste on social media writing nonsense information all day.
Lunarstorm777
(v)e Same 2
So...... Here?
jansybear
peter jahn -1
I have been flying privately for years and used my cell phone on board and it has had absolutely no effect on the aircraft avionics
tampawr
Wesley Rohde -1
I've flown many times in a corporate jet and have always been allowed the use of my cell phone, laptop, whatever. It was all a big ruse!
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
PEDs have not been an issue for many years. But as usual, government moves very slowly so it took all that unnecessary time to remove the obstacle... that is for government itself to stand aside and let the airlines do what they knew would be no issue for navigation.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
Dear friend Ken Lane, I am not sure about the accuracy or efficacy of my remark, but considering so many varying facets associated with electronics related security problems, one can never be too sure.
No amount of caution can be considered enough in context of security, a scene which has undergone tremendous change in the last 10 or 15 years.
Every authority, any nation, is always confronted with same problem . How much to allow and how much to refuse ? A proper balance of regulation !
Freedom/liberty vis-a-vis security
And hence the delays, at times .
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 2
Security of flight is more of a risk outside the plane than in. It has been proved both ground-based and satellite-based navigation can be jammed. UT-Austin recently proved so with GPS by even making a large yacht think it was on course via GPS while in fact it was being diverted.

As far as from inside the plane, it's a very low risk; nearly non-existent. The PEDs ban goes way back and had never been reviewed. The shielding in devices now is there to protect the device more than what's outside of it.

I can't help but think the shortest-living devices in a hospital are the communication tools used near radiology departments.
jansybear
peter jahn -3
Many of the people on 911 used there cell phones on board those flights and it was not the cell phones that caused the crashes......i'd be willing to bet the hijackers were using cell phones to communicate amongst themselves....so this has always been about a way of controlling the masses....nothing to do with navigational interference
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay -3
I wonder why so many thumbs down for you, Peter. You're right on the money.
jansybear
peter jahn -1
some people Michael are just oblivious to the truth.......smiles
Lunarstorm777
(v)e Same 1
Some people just can't get over 9/11, or the notion that the single mindedness that was embraced after it, is finally starting to expire.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 2
Just alittle F.Y.I to the 4 squawks above.
The hijackers on 9/11 used little or no electronic communication. The radio silence made their plan more difficult to detect.
Cell phones and in-plane credit card phones played a major role during and after the attack. The hijacked passengers called family. The in-flight crew called the company to advise them of the situation. The pilots couldn't. Their throats were slit with boxcutters and thrown into the first class cabin. The pax on UAL 93 were able to assess their situation based on these conversations and plan a counterattack that resulted in the aircraft crashing before it reached its intended target. Their actions saved the lives of countless others and may have saved the Capital or the White House from destruction. There were 13 pax who made a total of 30 calls that day, to both family and emergency personnel. The were 3 phone calls from Flt 11, 5 from Flt 175 and the 3 from Flt 77. ( Two of which were made by the Flight Attendants ) The remainder of the calls were from Flt 93 from pax and Flight Attendants advising the company of the situation. On the ground, the Cell Phone calls overloaded both fire and EMS dispatch which delayed responding. Basically, they got a busy signal. Personally, I will never forget 9/11 and the Flight Crews and Passengers are all Heros! IMHO.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Some die, so that others can live !
And they are called heroes. Honoured ones . Remembered for ever by the grateful survivors.
They become part of history in their own way , in their own right.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
By the way...there were a lot of calls made on United Flight 93 and only 2 of them were cell phone calls.
joncon25
joncon25 0
Now I will have to suffer in my cramped, narrow, under-padded plane seat while I get to listen to my overweight seat companion chat nonsense into his/her cellphone. Oh the joy of flying.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
No, No, No...joncon25. Cell Phones are still restricted. The rules and regulations for them remain the same. Thanx to the FCC. And I really do say... Thankyou!
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay -5
WOW! All of a sudden they have no effect on airplane navigation equipment! Amazing!

Give me a break.
mboette
mboette 8
They never did.
DrBHathaway
DrBHathaway 5
The major concern was always cellular devices that operate on microwave frequencies that occasionally may overlap with ILS glideslope frequencies. You'll note that the rule change still requires that no cellular signal transmission is allowed, so the effect on navigation equipment is still being addressed in the same manner. The rules were excessively stringent at first due to the fact that "airplane mode" didn't exist and many devices would inherently transmit while on when the rules went into place.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 4
I believe the cellular use ban is an FCC issue rather than FAA.
skylloyd
skylloyd 3
I can vision the FA's on the initial flights are going to have their hands full trying to control the people that are going to try and use cell phones, it's just the nature of people.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 0
Yah...skyllod. You think the the Cabin Flight Crew had it bad before...wait till this regulation starts it's motor. The F/A's don't want to be "PED" police but they have to do what they were trained to do. Protect the airplane, people and themselves. Passengers think. they "Bark" to passengers about shutting their PED's...It's harder than you think! Did you know that 1/3 of passengers refuse to comply with F/A instuctions to "power down"? Now, that's a lot of people. The F/A's are doing their best to do what they were trained to do...enforce Federal Aviation Regulations, deal with medical emergencys and evacuated the aircraft, if needed. Flight Attendants are not the bad guys. It's the passengers that refuse to comply with the FAA regulations. This decision by the FAA is going to make their "workplace" a difficult one.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Just putting it out there... Respect the Flight Attendants on your next flight. They are highly "Trained Safety Professionals" and they are there to...save your a**, in the event of an emergency.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear Dee Lowry, about F/A's conduct all I can say is that I have had the best experience over last 35+ years, though I do not travel much any more.
That is what prompted me to join this portal of FA to learn a vee bit about these birds so that I can 'impress' them and get 'some more' from them, my age notwithstanding ! ;p
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
I salute you, Mittal. You really are trying to educate yourself with the world of aviation. I'll give you this...not every flight is going to be the "norm"! There is no normal in the aviation industry. Every day you go to work...every flight you fly is never the same. This career is not an easy one...it takes a special type of person to go the distance till retirement. And please, call me Dee.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Just an interesting experience of F/A service a few months back.
On a Srilanka Airlines' Colombo-New Delhi flight I noticed full battery of aircraft crew marching into the lounge. I light heartedly told one of the girls ' Beware, I am coming to bother you a lot, especially for a window seat to be able to make VDOs !'
Can you believe that after entry, not only did I get the best window seat but also a VIP treatment inspite of my 'coach class' ticket !
They were nice when I was 25yo hot blooded young man and they continue to be so today when I am 68+.
In the good old days when security wasn't a problem, even the pilots indulged me by inviting to the cockpit for a 'look' .
That's how my experience with F/As goes !
:-)
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
And if I may add...when you put on your uniform and leave your home & family...there is that thought that you might not be coming home again. We were trained that whenever we went on a trip...every takeoff and landing...we were going to crash that day. We were prepared for the worst. That training concept made us very alert to any abnormality that would confront us. Hell of a way to live but they were the best days of my life!
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear Dee Lowry, your 'preflight feelings' remind me an incident of my college days.
A friend of mine was training to be fighter pilot. There was a comment from me that the air force officers pamper their wives a lot, more than what I had noticed in case of army officers !
His reply was,' Every time we go on a sortie, it's a good bye to her.' And hence extra affection as a habit.
dbaker
Daniel Baker -3
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

FAA loosens rules for e-devices on airline flights

Airline passengers soon will be able to use electronics such as readers and games throughout flights, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Thursday. The decision on other gadgets follows a report Sept. 30 from a 28-member committee representing airlines, manufacturers, electronics makers, pilots and flight attendants.



http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/31/faa-gadgets-personal-electronics/3238207/