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Three airlines have begun allowing passengers to use portable electronic devides throughout the flight in the past week. Delta and JetBlue implemented the change in policy on Friday; American followed suit yesterday.
Flyers with those airlines can now read e-books, listen to music, watch videos and work on documents (but not talk on the phone) from the time they get on the plane to after they land. Devices must be in airplane mode. The Federal Aviation Administration approved the policy changes. Before allowing any such change, the administration ensures planes can safety operate with devices turned on. Other airlines will likely make similar policy changes soon.
The FAA had long contended that the radio signals from electronic devices could interfere with an aircraft's navigation systems, a particular safety concern during takeoff and landing, but a panel convened by the FAA to study the issue found that most commercial planes can safely operate even with electronic gadgets up and running.