The Straits Times
Published on Dec 08, 2012

US agency chief seeks to ease airplane electronics ban


WASHINGTON (AFP) - The head of the United States (US) agency that regulates telecommunications is calling for an easing of the ban on using mobile phones and other electronic devices on airplanes during takeoff and landing.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski said devices such as smartphones "empower people" and can boost economic productivity.

In a letter this week to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates the airline industry, Mr Genachowski pushed for a new look at the ban.

"I write to urge the FAA to enable greater use of tablets, e-readers and other portable electronic devices during flight, consistent with public safety," the FCC chief said in the letter, seen Friday by Agence France-Presse, to FAA administrator Michael Huerta.