New study says electronics not harmful during flights

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By Daniel Gonzalez | Assistant Spread Editor

For many years all airlines flying out of the United States have restricted the usage of electronic devices during takeoff and landing.

However, the Federal Aviation Administration published a study in 2012 that determined portable electronic devices are safe to use at any time during flight if operated without cellular or internet connection according to a Time magazine article.

In Sept. a FAA panel concluded that the restrictions on electronic use during takeoff and landing could be lightened. This would apply only for flights less than 10,000 ft.

Current FAA regulations require an aircraft operator to determine if radio frequency interference from electronic devices are not a flight safety risk before the operator authorizes them for use during certain portions of flight.

Robbie C. Hadobas, sophomore marketing major, said allowing use of electronic devices during take-off and landing “is good for everyone, because I know everybody would want to use their phones more often.”

However, there are some who are still concerned with the possible change of the FAA policy for the usage of portable devices during flights.

“I find it very interesting that they are making these changes because they have always been very strict (about the policy) and always say that it would cause a lot of disruption if we maintained our devices on,” said Elizabeth A. Fisher, junior pre-nursing major. “This makes me wonder if they were really telling the truth before.”

If the policy does change, passengers will be allowed to switch their phones or devices into an airplane mode, where the device has no cellular or Internet connection. This would allow passengers to play games, read books or draft emails.

Any changes made to the policy will only affect domestic flights within the U.S.; international flights will still maintain current portable electronic device usage policies.

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