Archived Story

Editorial: Rule change on devices could be a good one

Published 9:15am Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The FAA announced in August its intent to review its policy that bans using electronic devices during takeoffs and landings during flights. The Aviation Rulemaking Committee — comprising FCC officials, pilot and attendant groups and associations representing airlines and, lest we forget, passengers — likely will take six months to perform the review.

We favor changing these rules.

An FAA study released in June showed no airlines have experienced safety or behavioral problems related to people using cellphones.

Airline travelers already pay high prices and silly fees and put up with less-than-friendly airports. Letting passengers use their electronic devices would be giving the passengers back one more convenience. Think of a parent trying to calm a child by letting him play a game on an iPad. Think of a business traveler without time to spare on a project. Think about family members trying to reach their loved ones during trying times.

Even if it takes a few years of tests to determine whether allowing electronic devices won’t compromise safety, it will be worth it. The FAA and FCC can take a step toward serving passengers’ needs, rather than taking something else away from them. One step at a time, let’s make flying desirable again. Well, at least somewhat desirable.