Pilots of commercial airlines can no longer use personal electronic devices (PEDs) including laptops, cellphones or other tablets for personal reasons in the cockpit, according to the latest regulations issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The latest regulation adds to the FAA's 1981 'sterile cockpit' rule, which mandates pilots desist from non-essential and distracting activities while on duty in the cockpit.
Codifying the existing FAA policies and procedures, the new rule is set to go live in two months and complies with an order issued by Congress to prohibit all commercial airline flight crews from using PEDs to avoid interruption during critical phases of the flight.
FAA said in a statement: "This rule will ensure that certain non-essential activities do not contribute to the challenge of task management on the flight deck and do not contribute to a loss of situational awareness due to attention to non-essential activities."
However, flight crews are still allowed to use laptops, iPads, or other devices for aircraft operational purposes.
In addition to commercial airlines, the agency is also considering extending the ban to small turboprop aircraft and charter operators too.
Last year, the airline regulator passed a rule that allows air passengers to use PEDs through all phases of their journey by US airlines.
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