US panel says some gadgets should be allowed in flight
WASHINGTON (AFP) - An advisory panel to the US Federal Aviation Administration has urged regulators to allow some personal electronics to be used throughout flight, a move hailed by consumer groups on Tuesday.
The recommendations would allow devices for reading, playing games or watching videos to be operated on an airplane at any altitude, according to US media reports. According to current regulations, personal devices like smartphones and other computers must be powered down during takeoff and landing.
The panel said a ban should remain on browsing the Internet and sending or receiving texts and emails while the plane is flying below 10,000 feet. Those activities could be allowed again once the WiFi in the plane was activated.
The panel did not consider whether cell phone calls should be allowed in flight. Those are banned by a separate government agency, the Federal Communications Commission.