Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (D) has urged FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to reconsider rules restricting the use of portable electronic devices in aircraft. In a letter sent just before the Christmas break she said that it’s time the agency accepts that its regulations cause unnecessary inconvenience to travelers and are not rational.
“Airline employees have the incredibly important job of keeping us safe in the air,” McCaskill wrote. “Their efforts are better spent worrying about rules that actually accomplish that goal.” The senator’s demands step up the debate about the lack of research positively proving the dangers of using devices during landing and takeoff, especially now that many airlines have received approval for cockpit crews to use tablet computers as electronic flight bags in all phases of flight.
“The fear of devices that operate on electricity is dated, at best,” McCaskill stated. “Importantly, such anachronistic policies undermine the public’s confidence in the FAA, thereby increasing the likelihood that rules of real consequence will be given too little respect. While safety and security must be the top priority in air travel, the FAA and other federal agencies should also work to ensure air travel is as hassle free as possible by revising or removing regulations that have become unnecessary or outdated.”