NBAA Speaking Up on Talk of Cockpit PC Ban

 - November 5, 2009, 10:38 AM

NBAA is taking a proactive approach to the “possibility of legislation that would restrict laptops, electronic flight bags (EFBs), cellphones and other electronic devices in aircraft cockpits,” association vice president of safety, security and regulation Doug Carr said yesterday. On Tuesday, Senate aviation subcommittee chairman Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) announced he planned to introduce legislation that would “prohibit pilots from using laptops and other personal devices during flight” as a result of the incident in which two pilots of Northwest Flight 188 overflew their destination, later asserting that they had been distracted by their laptops. Sen. Dorgan said he planned to exclude EFBs, but business aviation pilots are still concerned because many EFB platforms are actually tablet PCs. Additionally, the legislation could affect airborne usage of aviation applications on devices such as the iPhone. “We’re acutely aware of the critical operational and safety needs for these devices on the flight deck,” Carr said. He said that if such a proposal were offered, it would fall under the jurisdiction of the Senate Commerce Committee. “NBAA is meeting with that committee’s staff shortly to explain our concerns,” he added. “We’ll keep everyone advised on the issue following our meeting.”