News Article

Federal Aviation Administration Lets Passengers Use Electronics For Full Duration Of Flights

Posted by Christopher Costabile

Break out that 3DS and get ready for take-off

Have you flown that hang glider through all of the missions in Pilotwings Resort yet? If not, the US Federal Aviation Administration is about to provide you with an excellent chance.

Last week, the FAA announced that its rules and restrictions limiting the use of electronic devices on commercial flights will be eased significantly. Airlines will soon begin to allow passengers to operate devices such as tablets, e-readers, and yes, even portable video game consoles like 3DS, for the full duration of flights — including take-off and landing. As usual, all devices will still be required to stay in Airplane Mode.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, who made the announcement at Reagan National Airport, informed the media that new studies indicate the use of electronics does not interfere with the gadgetry of planes:

We found that we could protect aviation safety and at the same time address the passenger desire for use of their portable devices. The committee determined that most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference from portable electronic devices.

According to the FAA, the actual initiation of the new rules will be up to each individual airline. Eager to capitalize on clientèle looking to take advantage of the lifted restrictions, several airlines, such as Jet Blue and Delta, are primed to give passengers full use of their devices.

“All of our aircraft are ready to go,” said Delta spokesman Paul Skrbec. He revealed that Delta Air Lines have already tested aircraft and submitted the necessary paperwork for approval, anticipating the new rules, which have been known to be in the works for some time.

Do you plan on taking advantage of the new rules set forth by the FAA by playing your 3DS throughout your next flight? Let us know in the comments section.


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User Comments (26)



ricklongo said:

Not being from the US, I'm not sure whether this will affect me in the near future. I hope it does, though. My 3DS is my inseparable plane partner.



Kyloctopus said:

But I loved hearing the stories of people getting kicked off planes for having their phones on.



therick112 said:

This might be the best news I've ever gotten. For myself, that means 3DS and Kindle. For my 2 yr old daughter, that means more iPad time, and everyone on the plane will be thankful for that.



unrandomsam said:

The thing about it is the whole thing is it so stupid. If there was any chance whatsoever electronic devices could cause any harm they would be just not allowed on at all. Everything is shielded. Even one of those jammers you can buy from China wouldn't do anything. If you could crash a plane like that then it would have been done already.



SCAR said:

The only time I flew anywhere, I was playing my DS the entire way. This was in 2008. Was the DS included in this, because they didn't tell me anything.

I thought airplanes had Wi-fi now.



Chris720 said:

I've been able to use my 3DS on planes before... maybe the 3DS doesn't emit the same radio waves phones do. Besides, who cares... I just sleep and watch films, especially if it's a long haul flight.



Giygas_95 said:

I never get to go on flights, but if I did, you can bet I'd have my 3DS with me!



HandheldGuru97 said:

I fly pretty frequently, but if I sat at the window seat I didn't mind waiting to play my 3DS until we hit 10,000. The next time I fly however I will (probably) have some Zelda to I think I will enjoy this rule change



Zero11 said:

i would take advantage of this i wish they made a airplane mode for 3ds



JonWahlgren said:

Fantastic news, although I'd never dare play a flying game on an airplane. Too meta for my nerves.

@Zero11 Just flip off the wifi and you're golden. Some flights even have wifi so you probably won't have to even do that.



SCAR said:

I see. Ya, I didn't use it then, because they told us not to. I thought this meant during the entire flight.



solcross said:

Now if only Nintendo could get StreetPass to work from way up in an airplane.




ledreppe said:

Fly a couple of times a year, but only in Europe so I don't know when these new rules will apply here. But I love playing my 3DS during flight, makes the journey more bearable.



kevkeepsplaying said:

Thank goodness. It was a pain sitting there for ten minutes twiddling my thumbs when I took a plane earlier this year. Next time I fly, I hope it wont be the same.



GreenDream said:

Ever since I learned about the process of anodized aircraft-grade aluminum a year ago, I've been wondering why this was ever a concern. Regardless of where a plane is or whether it's powered on or not, the anodized aluminum prevents ingoing and outgoing RFID communications. If they limit the cockpit band frequencies to limited encrypted channels outside of the usual 2.4 Ghz or 5 Ghz range, there should not (usually) be any interference issues.

In hindsight, I have to wonder if there were other issues involved with implementing such a hair-brained policy... Paranoia? Ignorance? Politics? Who knows... It makes me feel stupid, knowing that so many people, including myself, thought nothing of the fact that aircraft grade anodized aluminum would render the issue moot...

I still call it the Washington, D.C. National Airport... the name "Reagan" applied to it makes me cringe...



Marioman64 said:

"new studies indicate the use of electronics does not interfere with the gadgetry of planes"
ha, finally they actually tested it



FishieFish said:

To be honest I don't think it really matters.

You're only in the air for about 15 minutes before they allow electronic devices on, and in that 15 minutes you're probably too busy looking out the window or something.




kurtasbestos said:

Dang, I already miss the days where people would blatantly ignore the rules because they couldn't stand not using their cell phone for 30 seconds, while meanwhile I'd get yelled at for trying to discretely take a picture out the window as the plane is leaving whatever city I happened to be in.



Froggievilleus said:

I'm very glad about this. I have a trip next week and it's frustrating to turn off my 3ds and iPod Nano while enjoying some entertainment while traveling.

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