Will wonders never cease. It looks like a 28-member panel for the FAA finally came to the same conclusion that the rest of the world has already come to; Wi-Fi is safe for airplanes. But despite it being declared safe, the regulations will for the most part remain intact, but will be relaxed to allow some mobile device use.
In a recommendation from the panel, airline passengers should be allowed to use their personal electronic devices to use previously downloaded files to read, play games or enjoy movies and music, even when planes are on the ground or flying below 10,000 feet. Currently, this is not allowed.
Restrictions will remain in place on sending text messages, browsing the web or checking email until the aircraft’s Wi-Fi network is turned on, typically above 10,000 feet. The use of cellphones to make voice calls, which was not part of the review, will still be prohibited throughout the flight.
Overall, it’s a small victory for passengers. It’s important to know that the FAA finally realizes and is taking action against the fact that Wi-Fi poses no threat to airline electronics With this precedent, it could loosen regulations for the future.