The USA is to lift an “outdated” ban on airline passengers using laptops during take-off and landing. The Federal Aviation Administration is to rule that travellers can keep laptops, iPads and electronic readers on during taxi, take-off and landing because they are safer than had been thought.
Research found that such gadgets do not interfere with navigation systems and that data used to draw up the ban was from the 1960s when such devices were very different. However, mobile phones will still have to be kept switched off because they were not part of the research. The FAA is expected to look at this separately. It could lead to a worldwide relaxation of the rules barring air passengers from using these electronic devices before an aircraft takes off.
The FAA is to formally unveil its findings in September. In its report the FAA concluded that the ban has “become untenable” because of the widespread use of consumer electronics. Whether by accident or on purpose, a third of passengers had left their gadgets on when they should be turned off.