FAA may soon allow use of some electronics during takeoff, landing

Actor Alec Baldwin might be a little happier today.

That's because the Federal Aviation Administration may soon allow a few, that's a "few", exceptions to it's "power off your electronics" rules.

The New York Times reports people who work with an industry working group that the F.A.A. set up last year to study the use of portable electronics on planes hopes to announce by the end of this year that it will relax the rules for reading devices during takeoff and landing.

And yes, Mr. Baldwin...the change would not include cellphones.

Right now, even popular e-readers like the Kindle and iPad had to be powered down...regardless if the device had an "airplane mode" or not.

The Times reports that the F.A.A. is under a lot of pressure to allow devices to be placed in airplane mode...or provide scientific proof as to why they shouldn't.

According to an internal document that describes the working group's objectives that was shown to The New York Times, one includes ensuring that flight attendants do not have to be the social police for which devices are acceptable during flight and determining what the term â??airplane modeâ?? really means.

Additionally, the group wants to ensure that whatever rules the agency announces apply to devices that are not on the market today.

â??Weâ??re going to start drafting legislation that would dictate these changes,â?? said Senator Claire McCaskill in the Times' interview...adding that the F.A.A. was moving too slowly. She said she was meeting with various parties and corralling bipartisan support for action in Congress.

â??Letâ??s hope itâ??s not necessary, but I will be looking for vehicles to get this changed", she added.

Is it time for the FAA to loosen it's restrictions on electronic devices? Have you ever been scolded by a Flight Attendant for not following the current rules?