Good news from the New York Times‘ Nick Bilton, who’s spent the last couple years crusading for the right to use tablets and e-readers on airplanes during takeoff and landing:
According to people who work with an industry working group that the Federal Aviation Administration set up last year to study the use of portable electronics on planes, the agency hopes to announce by the end of this year that it will relax the rules for reading devices during takeoff and landing. The change would not include cellphones.
The FAA has faced pressure from the Federal Communications Commission and from lawmakers to loosen the rules. Studies haven’t shown any solid evidence that using electronics during takeoff or landing poses a safety risk.
Of course, commenters on Bilton’s piece continue to insist that the rules are in place to prevent distraction, not to cut down on electromagnetic interference. Nevermind the fact that you’re allowed to read a book, go to sleep, talk to your fellow passengers or otherwise zone out at any time on an airplane. Some people just fear change — and personal electronics.