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FAA committee thinks smartphone and tablet use should be allowed during takeoff and landing

Mat Smith, @thatmatsmith
September 27, 2013
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Recall that silent rage you get when you're told to switch of your Kindle, iPod or laptop for take-off and landing, even when there's nothing wireless going on. Well, the FAA could be approaching a change in the rules. A 28-member committee, created by the Federal Aviation Administration itself, has offered up its recommendation that flyers should be able to use "most" devices during takeoff and landing. Data-based activities and voice calls would still be prohibited, but the group recommends that passengers should be allowed to watch videos, type away at documents, listen to music and more when planes take off and land.

Amazon has already released a statement, with the company acting as the representative device manufacturer within the FAA committee. "We've been fighting for our customers on this issue for years - testing an airplane packed full of Kindles, working with the FAA, and serving as the device manufacturer on this committee," said Amazon's Drew Herdener. "This is a big win for customers and, frankly, it's about time". If the FAA decides to progress with these recommendations (although it certainly doesn't have to), changes could occur as soon as early 2014. However, timing will depend on how the FAA decides to roll out implementation. However, according to industry officials, if it's done airline by airline, it could well take longer. We'll continue to pack a paperback for now.

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