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.