A Federal Aviation Administration advisory panel will meet this week to recommend relaxing restrictions on the use of personal electronic devices by airplane passengers during takeoff and landings, the New York Times first reported.
The FAA does not ban the devices, but it requires airlines to prove the devices do not pose a risk. Since that would mean testing thousands of types of devices constantly, the airlines have enacted a blanket ban during takeoff and landing, the report said.
Under the new recommendations, passengers will be able to use their devices in "airplane mode" during the entire flight. The current ban will remain in place for tasks that require a data connection, such as phone calls.
The agency wants to present a uniform "gate to gate" policy that would apply to all airlines and all types of airplanes.
"We have to make sure the planes can handle this," Douglas Kidd, the head of the National Association of Airline Passengers and a member of the advisory committee told the New York Times. "There's a lot of pressure on the FAA because passengers are very attached to their devices."
The new recommendation is expected to come into effect next year, the Times reported.
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