Travelers may be allowed to use their smartphones and tablets to their hearts’ content aboard planes, but the same cannot be said for pilots. This week, the FAA updated its regulations to ban personal electronic devices from being used by pilots on the job.
On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a new regulation which bans laptops, cell phones, and any other electronic devices for personal use from being used in the cockpit. The rule will come into effect in two months’ time, and will not prevent flight crews from using small electronic devices for official purposes.
In recent months, the FAA has issued several rulings over the safety of using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets during flights. Banning pilots from using their own mobile devices has little to do with the perceived dangers of in-flight signals or data, and more to do with a far more basic concern. The new ruling builds upon an existing rule which prohibits pilots from engaging in non-essential activities during certain critical phases of a flight in order to prevent them from becoming distracted.