Attention all techno-umbilical jet-setters and social media addicts: The FAA is not going to let you use your cellphones in the air or end the holy war against electronics during takeoff and landing. At least, not yet.
The Internet had a moment of glossolalia today when the FAA announced it was letting an unnamed government group do more research about the supposed safety risks associated with personal electronics on aircraft. Insiders think the agency is inching closer to overturning a rule that most of us suspect is bullshit, but it s still no surprise that the FAA is approaching this with extreme caution.
The reckoning began when the Airline Passenger Experience Association and the Consumer Electronics Association issued a joint study showing that up to a third of all airline passengers do not turn off their personal electronics during flight. Shockingly (at least, to the FAA), the study did not find a corresponding increase of planes falling out of the sky. The FAA refused to answer any questions about the announcement.