NEW YORK — The Federal Aviation Administration may rethink its puzzling ban on using smartphones, e-readers and computers during takeoff and landing.
It’s unclear whether the federal agency no longer sees the Kindle or iPad as a risk to modern jetliners as they ascend or descend but not when they reach cruising altitude.
In a press release, the agency cited “widespread consumer use of portable electronic devices” as a reason to reexamine its policies.
“With so many different types of devices available, we recognize that this is an issue of consumer interest,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “Safety is our highest priority, and we must set appropriate standards as we help the industry consider when passengers can use the latest technologies safely during a flight.”
As part of the process, the FAA will convene a group that includes representatives from mobile technology and aviation industries, pilot and flight attendant groups, airlines and passenger associations.
The group is to examine a range of issues involving personal electronic devices. The FAA will formally solicit comments later this week.