The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has allowed the air passengers to use Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) through all phases of their journey by US airlines.
Mobile phone calls, however, remain banned as per the regulator's policies, while passengers can freely operate smartphones, tablets and e-readers in 'airplane' mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of 2013.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that the latest move honours the agency's commitment to safety and consumer's increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flights.
"These guidelines reflect input from passengers, pilots, manufacturers, and flight attendants, and I look forward to seeing airlines implement these much anticipated guidelines in the near future," Foxx said
Upon FAA's decision, the Delta Air Lines and JetBlue rapidly filed schemes with the FAA, while Delta also revealed that it would allow passengers using PEDs from 1 November.
The latest FAA ruling comes in the wake of a report by the Portable Electronic Device Aviation Rulemaking Committee which suggested the regulator allow airlines to authorise electronic device use if they confirm their fleet can bear with radio interference from those devices.
Delta Airlines In-Flight Service senior vice president Joanne Smith said that the latest FAA ruling would make Delta customers as the first to be able to use their devices throughout their entire flight.
"We appreciate the FAA's collaboration with the industry to define a path for enabling the safe use of portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet," Smith said.
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