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FAA Considers Allowing Air Passengers To Use E-Readers During Takeoff, Landing

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(File photo)

(File photo)

Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By Ian Bush

LANCASTER, Pa. (CBS) — The FAA says it will take another look at the policy that has long prevented us from using electronic devices during certain parts of an airline flight.

You know the drill …

(Cabin announcement:) “All electronic devices do need to be turned off and put away at this time.”

No iPods, no e-readers or tablets when taxiing, taking off, or touching down.

(Cabin announcement:) “We will let you know when it’s safe to use them in flight.”

Some studies show there’s no harm done to a plane by such technology, but Todd Adams with Lancaster Avionics, in Lancaster, Pa., has seen otherwise when it comes to general aviation — civilian flights that don’t include major airlines and their passenger flights.

“Though it is somewhat rare, I have found firsthand instances where an external portable device has in fact caused problems with, say, GPS satellite reception,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

Federal regulators say they aren’t budging on the cell phone ban, however.

Adams says the FAA is right to take their time testing other devices — each version of each device on a separate flight — for the sake of passengers who put their lives in a pilot’s hands.

“You don’t want them to have to deal with a problem, even if the chance of having that problem is remote,” he says. “I think their position is that they’d rather fall on the side of caution rather than the other way around.”

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