I assume the FAA Cannot Revoke the No-Gadget-During-Takeoff Policy During the Shutdown

September 30th, 2013

So, so close!

Airline passengers should be allowed to use their personal electronic devices to read, play games or enjoy movies and music, even when planes are on the ground or flying below 10,000 feet, according to recommendations an advisory panel sent to the Federal Aviation Administration on Monday.

But the panel said that restrictions should remain on sending text messages, browsing the Web or checking e-mail after the plane’s doors have been closed. Passengers can do that only when the aircraft’s Wi-Fi network is turned on, typically above 10,000 feet. The use of cellphones to make voice calls, which was not part of the review, will still be prohibited throughout the flight.

The review was the work of a 28-member panel set up last year to revise current policies. It provides a road map to changing the policy, but it is now up to the F.A.A.’s administrator, Michael P. Huerta, to decide whether and when to do so.

“The F.A.A. received the report and recommendations today on the expanded use of personal electronic devices,” said Les Dorr, a spokesman for the agency. “The administrator will review the report and determine next steps.”

Not likely to happen during shutdown.