Relaxed rules for electronic devices on US flights

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Passengers will soon be able to use electronic devices throughout their entire flight on US airlines after aviation regulators there ended a long-standing ban.

It means that during take-off and landing, flyers will be free to keep smartphones, tablets and e-readers running in ‘airplane’ mode. Mobile phone calls will remain barred as they could interfere with flight equipment.

“The committee determined that most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference from portable electronic devices,” said US Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta.“It is safe to read downloaded materials like e-books and calendars and also to play games.”

He added, however: “I want to be clear that you still cannot talk on your phone during flight.”

The relaxed rules apply to US airlines on domestic and international routes. Delta Airlines look set to be the first to implement them.

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