Acknowledging the pervasiveness of personal electronic devices (PEDs) such as tablet computers and electronic readers, the U.S. FAA will form an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to study airline procedures governing their use in flight and to issue recommendations on the potential for relaxing the restrictions. Scheduled to convene this autumn, the ARC will consist of representatives from the “mobile technology” and aviation manufacturing industries and groups representing airlines, pilots, flight attendants and passengers.
LightSquared is coming under pressure from several separate directions, as opponents to its plans provide more specific support to their positions on legal, financial and technical issues. And in the background, a telecom industry heavyweight with whom LightSquared hopes to form an alliance wants clarity by year-end.
Satellite communications provider Inmarsat and aviation standards organizations have been working on a solution to a lesser-publicized aspect of the planned LightSquared broadband wireless network–the potential for the system’s high-power transmitters to interfere with satcom as well as GPS navigation signals.
The FAA last month closed a three-month comment period on a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would amend long-standing HIRF (high-intensity radiated fields) testing requirements for newly certified airplanes and helicopters.