Court: US can allow cell phones during takeoff and landing

Posted By: Gizbot Bureau

    US aviation officials acted within their authority in allowing airline passengers to use cell phone and other electronics during takeoffs and landings, a federal appeals court ruled today.

    Court: US can allow cell phones during takeoff and landing

    The court of threw out a lawsuit from the nation's largest flight attendants union that challenged the 2013 decision. The 60,000-member Association of Flight Attendants argued that small electronic devices could distract passengers from safety announcements and become dangerous projectiles.

    Recommended: Mother's Day Gifts Ideas: Top 20 Stylish Smartphones For Your Mom

    The union said the Federal Aviation Administration had changed an agency regulation without going through required legal steps. But the appeals court said the FAA has always had discretion on how to handle issues such as portable electronics and was free to change its interpretation of the rules.

    Court: US can allow cell phones during takeoff and landing

    FAA officials said that cell phones and other small electronic devices were no more dangerous than books that passengers have been allowed to keep out.

    The change in 2013 reversed guidance that had for years meant passengers stowed cell phones, tablets, and music and video players during takeoffs and landings.

    Under new guidance, airlines can let passengers use the devices during those times as long as the plane is properly protected from electronic interference and the airlines get the FAA's approval.

    Recommended: Mother's Day Gifts Ideas: Best of Android Lollipop: Top 10 Smartphones To Buy in May 2015

    Cell phones still must be in air plane mode when in use. The FAA says that since the announcement, it has cleared 31 airline operators to let passengers use small electronics on takeoffs and landings.

    Last year, those operators together carried 96 percent of US commercial passengers. The court rejected the union's argument that the FAA action had changed an existing rule without following the proper procedures for inviting public comments.

    Judge Harry Edwards, writing for the three -judge panel, said the FAA's action was "nothing more than a statement of agency policy" or a new interpretation of an existing rule.

    The FAA did request and receive public feedback before updating its guidance, telling the judges the agency considered some 1,000 responses, including one from the union.

    Source: PTI

    Read More About: cell phones smartphones news
    X

    Stay updated with latest technology news & gadget reviews - Gizbot

    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Gizbot sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Gizbot website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more