Senate Bill Seeks Laptop Ban for Part 121

 - November 23, 2009, 6:39 AM

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and four cosponsors have introduced S.2745 to ban the use of personal wireless communications devices or laptop computers in Part 121 cockpits, but general aviation would not be affected. Also, the bill would not apply to such devices if used for a purpose related directly to operation of the aircraft, or for emergency, safety-related or employment-related communications, in accordance with procedures established by the air carrier or the FAA. The bill is in response to an incident October 21 in which the pilots of Northwest Flight 188 overshot Minneapolis by 150 miles and failed to communicate with anyone on the ground for 91 minutes because they claimed they were distracted by their laptops.