FAA realizing Kindles and iPads won’t kill us (nor will phones…but one step at a time)

Angry Flight AttendantSoon, you won’t need to power off every electronic gadget before takeoff. In fact, if your device has an ‘airplane mode’, the FAA is seriously considering letting you leave it powered up as long as you change modes. After years of flat-out lying to passengers that devices interfere with cockpit communications, there’s light at the end of the traveler tunnel.

What else isn’t true?

I have to wonder…what else were they lying about? Does the plane really have life rafts? ?If I blow into the tube, can I really self-inflate the vest? Maybe I can even tamper with lavatory smoke detectors and they won’t prosecute. It all starts to unravel.

Deadly Bose headsets

A working group of airline and software folks have come to the conclusion that empowering flight attendants to yell at passengers for leaving their Bose headset powered up probably doesn’t make sense anymore. Flight attendants will need to come up with a new way to demonstrate their overwhelming authority…maybe they can be more severe about letting people pee while the seat belt light is illuminated. They’ll need something.

Poor Alec Baldwin was just a year ahead of his time. If he only waited, his Word With Friends passion would have no longer been classified as a terrorist activity.

Just the beginning

As the New York Times points out, the FAA is catching up just as people begin to wear the dangerous Nike Fuelband, the horrifying Jawbone Up, and the deadly FitBit. That might keep flight attendants comfortable in their supremacy for a while yet.

Aren’t there bad people out there to catch?

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Categories: Travel and Leisure

Author:Jeanne Roué-Taylor

I'm fascinated by disruptive technology and its impact on our world. I manage sales operations for an excellent startup with a unique team of highly experienced data scientists.

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4 Comments on “FAA realizing Kindles and iPads won’t kill us (nor will phones…but one step at a time)”

  1. March 25, 2013 at 2:58 am #

    When it comes to Aviation, you clearly dont know what you are talking about.
    When it comes to writing blogs or business articles, it ‘appears’ from the evidence above that you offer few facts and little substance.
    Perhaps the old adage, ‘engage brain before mouth’ could be worthy of consideration for you.

    • March 25, 2013 at 4:51 am #

      I flew for the Navy, though, and am Jeanne’s husband, so…I know a bit. Perhaps the real issue is obnoxious airline people? 🙂 Just sayin’

  2. Kent
    March 25, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    Maybe Jai needs you to post the link to your source (e.g. – New York Times, in this case) earlier in the article to provide context. I don’t have any “scientific proof” either, but I’ve been travelling for business over 28 years, and have often wondered about the validity of these rules. Especially, when they have varying types of drop-from-the-ceiling TV monitors, with all sorts of electronic “noise” from those and the additional wiring to support the transmissions. I used to have a cell phone that I’d power off (as instructed) put it in my pocket and then my reminder about the next flight would somehow power it back up, typically as we were landing, which was embarassing and now difficult to get to in my pants pocket with the seatbelt securely in place… Also, the whole notion of having your seatbelt on while waiting for an hour on the tarmac, seriously? Or, the idea that you want me to use a barf bag, when I came down with food poisoning just before the flight, instead of letting me stay in the toilet heaving my guts out as we land… give me a waiver, I’ll sign it! Our rules in the U.S. seem way over the top, when compared to 3rd world countries, when you are hoping to have a decent seat, not next to live stock, and hope you can’t really see gaps in the seems of the old prop plane. . I understand about general population safety, and keeping things orderly, but some of the FAA’s rules smack of 1950 era McCarthyism.

    Regarding the wireless signals issues. I can in a way see how it could turn a plane into a giant electronic magnet in the sense that you have all of phones reaching out for signals. Seems like we could learn something from our network infrastructure guys when providing better coverage for highly saturated areas, add a grid network and get everyone on that so you can better control the inbound/outbound pipe. In other words, provide free wi-fi (so no-one will be compelled to turn on their phone’s hot-spot), then add a carrier channel to the plane’s infrastructure for internet connectivity and cell service. But, let me guess, now we’d require the FAA and the FCC work together on that solution, and that could take another decade… Not really, since many airlines already provide Wi-Fi, but if they made it more available, more woud adopt it…

    Use a lesson from IT, provide services for free and folks will run to it, rather than demanding they “stop” doing things, provide alternatives…

  3. March 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    I liked that the FAA was told, “Present us scientific evidence or change the rules.” They are looking at changing the rules…

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