Feeds

FAA mulls scrapping in-flight iPad, Kindle ban

What's good for the captain is good for the passengers

Mobile application security vulnerability report

The FAA is planning a "fresh look" at the use of gadgets during take off and landing, reasoning that if pilots are using them then it's probably OK for passengers too.

Talking to the New York Times, the US Federal Aviation Authority said it was bored of waiting for airlines to take the initiative in testing whether electronics really can knock out flight instruments. It said a fresh look at the issue was necessary as the public was struggling to understand why they had to keep turning off Kindles and iPads at the start and end of every flight.

Airlines can allow customers to use electronics on the plane, even during takeoff and landing, but each piece of technology has to be tested fully. Anyone lucky enough to fly Virgin Upper Class will know the in-flight entertainment system is suitably tested so one doesn't have to stop watching as the destination approaches. Upper Class passengers are also allowed to use Bluetooth devices in-flight (you get a better class of Bluetooth hardware at the front of the plane, obviously).

But testing every consumer device would be extremely expensive, especially as every device would have to be tested with every model of plane, so the process could only be economical if airlines pooled resources, but critically they have little or no incentive to do so.

Making passengers turn everything off at takeoff and landing is simple, even if it can make them a little fractious at times. It also alerts passengers that the landing is imminent and gets the tech-heavy flyer with the short attention span reading the in-flight magazine too, so there's nothing to be gained by letting them use an iPad instead.

Which is why the FAA wants to get involved. The regulator has already paved the way for in-flight mobile telephones, creating a technical framework within which in-flight calling is safe and leaving it to the airlines to decide if it's worth offering the service. Something similar might work for in this instance, but even if it does it's going to take years so we'll still need paper books for a while yet. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.