FAA relaxes in-flight restrictions on electronic devices

BY newsdesk  October 31, 2013 at 10:23 AM EDT

Passengers will be able to use electronic devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year. Photo by Matt Nager/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a statement Thursday, the FAA announced their decision to expand the use of electronic devices, such as tablets, e-readers and smartphones — during takeoff and landing.

By the end of the year, the report states, passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with limited exceptions.

In a briefing Thursday, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said the recommendation for the change comes from a report from the Portable Electronic Devices Aviation Rulemaking Committee.

“It’s safe to read downloaded materials like e-books and calendars and also to play games. But the committee found that in some instances of low visibility — about 1 percent of all flights — some landing systems may not be proven to tolerate the interference,” he said. “In those cases, passengers may be asked to turn off devices.” Read more in the FAA’s press release.

Also, here’s the Portable Electronic Devices Aviation Rulemaking Committee’s full report to the FAA.