Clearing Tablets for Takeoff

By Doug Greene
|  Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012  |  Updated 8:55 AM EDT
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Clearing Tablets for Takeoff

Apple

Last week, the head of the FCC urged the FAA to "enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices" during flights.  Currently, flight attendants order passengers to turn their iPads and such off during takeoffs and landings.

The FAA is reviewing that policy that makes flying even more inconvenient than it otherwise would be for people such as Dennis Snow. 

"You gotta bide your time some way or another while you're waiting to take off and sometimes you sit on the tarmac for extended periods of time," he said, preparing to leave Bradley Airport for his home outside Kansas City. "So I got no problem with that, as long as it doesn't create a safety issue."

He's referring to potential conflict with electronic navigation signals that allow Bradley to stay open on foggy days, such as Monday.  

Pilots have been using iPads on their flight decks when passengers are not allowed to use, say, e-readers in the cabin.

"I really wonder how much effect, especially something like an e-reader would have, and find it bothersome to have to turn it off," said Sandy Nelson, who was heading for Minneapolis-St. Paul, "Because then I sit there and what am I gonna do?  Look at Skymall?"

The FCC letter did not mention cellphones. It is the FCC that has banned cellphones from flights, not the FAA.

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