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FAA ends ban on electronic devices on flights

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday announced that it will allow portable electronic devices to be used during the entirety of flights.

The policy change will allow tablets and e-readers to be used, while keeping in place the ban on cellphones.

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The new rules will still require passengers to use their devices in airplane mode, which is now a common setting in electronics. Passengers will not be permitted to download data on any devices while in the air.

The announcement is a victory for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who has pushed for the policy change for the better part of two years.

She had argued it didn't make sense not to allow travelers to watch movies or read books on their tablets and phones during flights, and hailed Thursday's decision as a victory for common sense.



“I applaud the FAA for taking the necessary steps to change these outdated regulations and I look forward to the airlines turning around quick plans for implementation,” she said in a statement.

The FAA had previously imposed the ban as a safety issue, but Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Thursday said the new rules would keep the airways safe while improving the in-flight experience.

“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 in a statement.

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