FAA Eases Rules About Use Of Electronic Devices On Planes

WASHINGTON (October 31, 2013) A change in government safety rules means passengers aboard passenger flights read, work, play games, watch movies and listen to music on electronic devices from gate-to-gate.

The Federal Aviation Administration says airlines can allow passengers to use the devices during takeoffs and landings on planes that meet certain criteria for protecting aircraft systems from electronic interference.

Most new airliners are expected to meet the criteria, but changes won't happen immediately.

The timing will depend upon the airline.

Connections to the Internet to surf, exchange e-mails, text or download data will still be prohibited below 10,000 feet.

Heavier devices such as laptops will have to be stowed.

Passengers will be told to switch their smartphones, tablets and other devices to airplane mode, and cellphone calls will still be prohibited.

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