Draft recommendations prepared by a high-level advisory panel suggest changes to the existing rules that have been in place since the 1960s. Unfortunately, the report doesn't make recommendations regarding phone use because the panel wasn't authorized to investigate the controversial area.
The FAA's anticipated decision would relax the rules for use of approved devices from the time cabin doors close to when the plane reaches 10,000 feet. Some devices, such as e-readers, could even be used during all phases of a flight, if the FAA goes along with the thrust of the draft recommendations.
No decision will be made until after the FAA receives the final recommendations from the advisory panel at the end of September. "At the group's request," the statements adds, "the FAA has granted the two-month extension to complete the additional work necessary for the safety assessment."
An FAA spokeswoman released a statement saying that the agency "recognizes consumers are intensely interested in the use of personal electronics aboard aircraft, that is why we tasked a government-industry group to examine the safety issues and the feasibility of changing the current restrictions."
Airline's have already received approval to use iPads in the cockpit. So it remains a mystery as to why it's taken so long for tablet devices to receive approval for in cabin use.