Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Angry Birds on a plane!
Many of us are irrationally afraid of flying (over the fifteen years between 1975 and 1994, the death risk per flight was one in seven million) yet we just can’t help it – especially during takeoff and landing.
Unfortunately, these are the two times where electronic devices are banned in the US since 1998; where a near-crash of a Qantas jumbo jet Heathrow airport was said to have been caused by someone on the plane using a mobile phone.
Due to this, we can’t distract ourselves with a game of Angry Birds.
The discussion over lifting of the ban began with Senator Claire McCaskill taking a vocal stance during the past year. "The current rules are inconvenient to travellers, don’t make sense, and lack a scientific basis," McCaskill wrote in a letter to the FAA in 2012.
She also directly states: “Airline employees have the incredibly important job of keeping us safe in the air—their efforts are better spent worrying about rules that actually accomplish that goal.”
Many studies show device usage has minimal-to-no effect on flight equipment; but commercial airlines will likely have to go through a certification process to ensure their aircraft can withstand the interference regardless.
"The FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) recognises consumers are intensely interested in the use of personal electronics aboard aircraft; that is why we tasked a government-industry group to examine the safety issues and the feasibility of changing the current restrictions," the FAA stated in June.
The report will only look into devices classed as low-emission; such as Kindles and WiFi tablets, cellular-connected phones will remain banned for the time being.
Once submitted, the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) will take a look over the report, and if agreed with, implementation could take “months, not years.”
That means the ban could potentially be lifted by early-2014, all going to plan.
It’s likely that the rest of the world will follow the lead in the United States policy change; with others following suit with their own investigations – undoubtedly a win for flyers.
A JustCall spokesperson comments: “These new rules are more than likely to alter the way internet services operate on UK flights, they may also affect standards for electronic device manufacturers.”
What do you think of these proposed in-flight policy changes?
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