If FAA Approves iPad usage to replace paper flight maps for pilots, why can’t I use my phone during takeoff and landing!?!

March 1st, 2011

I am not fan of the FAA’s asinine policies banning the use of electronic devices during takeoff and landing (see hereherehere, and here). I think that ban makes no sense from a technology perspective, and now it seems that it is totally hypocritical.

From CNN/Wired:

The Federal Aviation Administration is allowing charter company Executive Jet Management to use Apple’s tablet as an approved alternative to paper charts. The authorization follows three months of rigorous testing and evaluation of the iPad and Mobile TC, a map app developed by aviation chartmaker Jeppesen.

The latest decision applies only to Executive Jet Management, but it has implications for all of aviation. By allowing the company’s pilots to use the Apple iPad as a primary source of information, the FAA is acknowledging the potential for consumer tablets to become avionics instruments.

If it is safe for pilots to use an iPad during takeoff, landing, and the duration of the entire flight, why can’t I use my iPad, or iPhone, or Droid during those times? Are these special iPads that do not interfere with the plane’s navigation equipment? I doubt it. This policy is totally hypocritical and makes no sense.

H/T Engadget.