Under the recommendations, passengers would be able to use most devices, although some would have to be switched to airplane mode. Downloading data, surfing the Web and talking on the phone would still be prohibited. But people could still read e-books, listen to music, watch movies, play games and do work.
The 28-member committee agreed on the recommendations during a closed-door meeting, the officials said. The recommendations will be included in a report to be delivered to the
The officials asked not to be named because the
Passengers are required to turn off phones and other electronic devices while planes are under 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) in altitude to prevent interference with sensitive cockpit equipment. Takeoffs and landings are the most critical phases of flight. But new planes are equipped to prevent electronic interference, and critics have long complained the safety concerns behind the regulations are groundless.
"We've been fighting for our customers on this issue for years — testing an airplane packed full of Kindles, working with the
It's up to
Airline passengers could see restrictions lifted as soon as early 2014 if the agency chooses a faster implementation track. The process could drag on a year or more if airlines have to apply carrier by carrier to have their planes approved, industry officials said.
"I will know it if I see that they're stalling," she said in an interview.
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