OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) - Good new for anyone who flies. The Federal Aviation Administration says the days of turning off all your electronic devices during take-off and landing is done. The FAA is changing it's long-standing policy. Air travelers Local 5 spoke with say - it's about time.
Inside the Outagamie County Regional Airport travelers pass time on smartphones and tablets before boarding their plane. However,Thanks to a loosening of the FAA's rules on most electronic devices, passengers like Beckie Murdock won't have to worry about turning anything off while enroute to her final destination.
"You look for something to do while you're waiting," said Appleton resident Murdock. "And being able to continuing working will make that time go more quickly."
"Airlines can safely expand passenger use of portable electronic devices during all phases of flight," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
IPods, e-readers, gameboys, smartphones; all can be used yet there are some restrictions.
Laptops must be stowed during take-off and landing and travelers need to stop using all devices during safety instructions.
"I think there is definitely relief for flight attendants," said former NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker. "They didn't want to be sheriffs of the cabin, that's not what they are there for."
Phone calls will still not be allowed or surfing the web and sending email, unless you're using the planes WiFi connection.
"It will be nice to have it with you and keep using it," said traveler Vivek Karandikar from Neenah.
Karandikar says the change will allow him to be much more productive.
"Leaving Chicago or Detroit, you can sit a half an hour, 45 minutes - that's when it will be useful," said Karandikar.
So get ready to keep the electronic devices handy, as travelers get to use them from take-off through landing.
The FAA still needs to sign-off on each airlines plans for implementing the changes. Many - like Delta - say they are ready to go as soon as they get the okay.