iPads on Flights?

PDA devices have not been allowed to be utilized on many flights at least during take off and landing. And of course, in today’s technology based society this is an issue that has caused many passengers to become incensed and enraged.  Of course, the most recent of irate passengers that received some media attention was when actor Alex Baldwin was asked to shut off a device and refused causing a major ruckus and resulting in Baldwin being expelled from the flight.

Perhaps it is due to this incident that the airline industry is trying to determine whether or not any of these types of devices will cause interference to the airplanes communication and navigation systems.  During taxi and takeoff most airlines require that passengers completely shut off and stow these devices while other airlines actually wind up allowing passengers to use them as long as they are not actively pursuing a connection outside of the device.  There are questions, however, being raised about the use of these devices in flight and many experts are trying to investigate whether or not any of these devices will interfere with the devices of the aircraft and many airlines already allow their staff to use these types of devices in the cockpit even during takeoff and landing without any problem.

iPad 2 potentially disrupting a flightThe real problem for the airlines comes the number of different devices that could potentially mess with the airplanes communication and navigation systems.  Most airlines limit the use of cell phones, satellite phones, two-way radios and pagers, remote controls, radios, televisions, radio communication devices, the use of a cordless mouse, computers, PDA’s, book readers, and even e-cigarettes.  When you look at not only how many devices are on this list but also how many different manufacturers’ of these devices there are, it is easy to realize where the trouble lies.  After all, to say all devices are safe the airlines must test not only every type of device but every brand and model as well.

Most frequent flyers say that it is not that big an inconvenience to shut off devices during take-off and landing.  Many however, welcome the idea to use their PDA’s and other devices throughout the duration of their travel without interruption as long as it is safe.  The FAA will continue to conduct their studies but no one is for sure on how long it will take to ensure that use of these devices is safe for all flights across the board.

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