F.A.A. To Review Whether Reading Tablets During Take-Off/Landing Is Safe

Posted Mar 18, 2012

Are tablets safe when a plane is taking off or landing? When Nick Bilton of the New York Times pestered the Federal Aviation Administration about this issue, he was put in touch with deputy assistant administrator Laura J. Brown. Brown said that the F.A.A. will now be investigating whether using tablets during take-off and landing is safe. The last time they explored whether gadgets were safe was in 2006.

?With the advent of new and evolving electronic technology, and because the airlines have not conducted the testing necessary to approve the use of new devices, the FAA is taking a fresh look at the use of personal electronic devices, other than cellphones, on aircraft,? said Brown.

In order for airlines to get approval, each version of a device has to be tested on a separate flight with no passengers on the plane. This can be an expensive affair to get approved, which is one of the reasons why the F.A.A. was skeptical before. In 2010, 712 million passengers flew within the U.S. A relatively significant percentage of those passengers were carrying around Kindles and iPads so this issue is a very big deal.