Air Federal agencies

FAA bans pilots from using personal electronic devices

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Washington – On-duty pilots are now prohibited from using personal electronic devices in the cockpit, according to a Federal Aviation Administration final rule announced Feb. 11.

The final rule, which is set to go into effect April 13, is intended to help eliminate distractions in the cockpit and keep pilots focused on operating the aircraft. It bans pilots from using cell phones, laptops, tablets or other electronic devices for personal use during all stages of a flight other than for flight-related emergencies.

The final rule codifies previous guidance from FAA warning pilots and carriers about the dangers of using distracting devices in the cockpit. It also follows a January 2013 proposal that received 63 mostly positive comments from industry representatives, transportation safety advocates and pilots. Those who opposed the proposal, including the Air Line Pilots Association, International, stated that airlines should have the final say on if or when on-duty pilots can use personal electronic devices in the cockpit.