It Looks Like You'll Be Able To Play Handheld Consoles During Take Off

It's long been a pet peeve of mine. I forget to buy a magazine or a book. I sit on the plane before take off. I'm bored out of my mind. I have a fully charged PS Vita and a 3DS XL in my hand luggage, but no! I can't play it for some reason. I have to read the bloody Qantas magazine. What gives?

It looks like all of that is set to change. The Federal Aviation Administration is meeting this week to complete its recommendation to relax guidelines about which electronic devices can be used on aeroplaces before and during takes offs and landings. This means that, if all goes well, we could be free to play our consoles on flights at any point. Bans on using Wi-Fi and text messaging are expected to remain, but all other device usage is expected to be allowed under new recommendations.

But that's just the beginning for us here in Australia. If the F.A.A. does recommend that electronic devices be allowed during landings and take-offs, our local authority, Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA), will also have to make the decision to follow suit. Which, according to this report from Gizmodo, is looking likely.

"We’ve been watching what they [FAA] have been doing," a spokesperson said. "We’ll obviously look at any decisions taken by the FAA and consider what that might mean for our position in Australia."

There has been anecdotal evidence from pilots that some electronic devices can interfere with flight equipment, but nothing has ever been concretely proven in any sort of scientific way. As someone who has accidentally left his phone on for a full 14 hour flight, I'm comfortable with the change, but that's mostly because I want to play Hotline Miami instead of reading a magazine I don't like.


    I thought the main reason for the takeoff and landing restrictions was so people would not only pay attention to saftey instructions, and also because takeoff and landing are the riskiest pats of the flight, it means the passangers would be paying attention to any instructions in case something goes wrong.

      That's what I always thought. It's why they make you open the window shades during take off and landing.

      Also as well as paying attention, tray tables are up for your own safety. They don't want you smacking electronic devices made of hard plastic into your face.

        The window shades thing is in case of a crash. Searching for survivors in the wreckage is easier if people outside can see inside.

    I don't think I have ever remembered to turn my phone off... tablet too for that matter. Always in flight mode but never off. I fly quite regularly and I'm still alive.

    Maybe I'm weird, but I always carry something to do in my bag. I have a Rubik's cube that essentially lives in my backpack, so I never forget to take it with me. I used to always keep a book in my bag, too, but now that I read ebooks it's become just another electronic device to not be able to use while waiting for the plane to take off. The cube's perfect for wasting five or ten minutes, but I'll be glad when I can read books during takeoff again.

    Me, I just go to sleep. Makes the trip go faster too.

      I hate you and your ability to sleep that easily. :(

        It's the greatest skill uni gave me. Carefully honed during every lecture...

        Funny thing is though, when it comes time to actually sleep at night, I often have a lot of trouble nodding off and can end up lying there for hours.

      That is impossible. Sleeping cannot affect either time or speed of the aircraft.

        Can so too. I just did it the other month!

    It would be nice if that happened. It's always weird having to turn off a Kindle because I end up thinking that anyone with a digital watch is probably putting out more potential interference.

    I once sat next to an off duty flight attendant on the way from here (Melbourne) to Sydney, who was on the phone visibly texting (phone was in her hand near her face) the whole flight. all the working flight attendants just kept saying hello and going on their merry way....

    So long as they implement a rule where devices have to be on mute if the person using them doesn't have headphones.
    There's absolutely nothing more infuriating than being forced to listen to the bleep-bleep-bleep of a mobile game you're not playing.

      Yep, silent or headphones. If you're over five you shouldn't need to be told. =P

    As long as they have those wicked TV-like monitors in the backs of seats (international), I don't mind. That said, if this opens the way for phones already in airplane mode/eReaders that'd be cool.

    You're supposed to be listening and watching the safety demonstration Mark..

    Yeh,.. it's one thing if it's a simple 5 to 10 minute taxi and take-off.. but those times when you are in a queue of planes and it takes sometimes up to an hour to get off the ground... that's when you feel it the most.

    "I have to read the bloody Qantas magazine. What gives?"
    Hey, maybe thats it? Maybe thats the reason behind 'no electronic devices'!
    They want you to read the advertising magazine. Its full of their sponsors!

    But I think this is closer to the truth:

    Great. This is going to legitimize those kids playing multiplayer Mario Kart DS during takeoff and landing now. Yes, this happened and yes, I was ready to throttle them all before we crashed.

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