Part of those doubts may stem from the fact that there's no documented instance where passengers leaving their devices on have brought a plane down.
Additionally, up to 30 percent of passengers admit they haven't always turned their devices off during the critical takeoff and landing periods of flight, according to a study released in March by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the Consumer Electronics Association. The FAA panel's working draft cited the APEX research.
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According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the draft recommends that airlines install protective shielding to defend against electronic emissions and for planes to go through stringent tests to see how much signal interference from passenger devices they can withstand.
Depending on how well the aircraft perform, the draft foresees three different modes of allowable gadget use, and three different safety announcements flight attendants could make.
In a sort of "fasten your seat belt" sign for electronic devices, on flights with limited shielding, passengers will be told to keep their devices off until told they can turn them on.
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During flights on planes in the middle of the tolerance range, flight attendants would OK using specific kinds of electronics from gate to gate. But during rare landings requiring specific kinds of instruments, the captain would ask passengers to power off devices.
And on a third category of planes, passengers would hear the in-flight announcement, "This aircraft tolerates emissions from electrical devices for all phases of flight."