(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
Washington, DC (WLTX) -- The Federal Aviation Administration announced they will permit passengers to use their electronic devices gate-to-gate.
Airline passengers will be able to use electronics such as readers and games from throughout flights, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Thursday.
Passengers should continue to check with airlines before using their smartphones, tablets or e-readers. Connecting to the Internet remains prohibited when the plane is less than 10,000 feet in the air.
Voice calls also remain prohibited during the entire flight, under a Federal Communications Commission rule.
In a press released published Thursday morning, the FAA says they have determined Personal Electronic Devices can be used, in airplane mode, in almost every phase of flight.
The FAA will provide implementation guidelines to air carriers immediately, permitting the use of PEDs during all portions of the flight, but excluding the actual take-off and landing sequences.
Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions. Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled - i.e., no signal bars displayed-and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones. If your air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, you may use those services. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
The FAA is allowing air carriers some leeway for implementation timeline of the new rules, due to the variances among aircraft fleets, but the FAA says they anticipate nearly all air carriers will be allowing their passengers to safely use their devices, gate-to-gate, by the end of 2013.
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.
8. 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.
For additional information on this ruling from the FAA, along with how they will assist airlines with evaluation and implementation, visit the FAA website's press release, here. (http://1.usa.gov/16PpMZ4)