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FAA Oks passengers using gadgets on planes

Thursday - 10/31/2013, 2:10pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- You still won't be able to use your cellphone. But depending on which airline you fly, you may soon start getting permission from the flight crew to use other electronic devices throughout your flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued new guidelines under which passengers will be able to use devices to read, work, play games, watch movies and listen to music, from the time they board to the time they leave the plane.

Before they can implement the changes, airlines will have to show the FAA that their planes are protected from electronic interference, and that they've updated flight crew training manuals and the rules for stowing devices. Delta says it's submitting a plan to implement the new policy. The head of the FAA says the vast majority of airliners should qualify.

Passengers will be told to switch their smartphones, tablets and other devices to airplane mode. And heavier devices such as laptops will still have to be stowed because of concern they might injure someone if they go flying around the cabin.

A travel industry group is welcoming the changes. The U.S. Travel Association says it's a common-sense move to accommodate a traveling public equipped with plenty of technology.

%@AP Links

151-c-07-(Scott Mayerowitz (MAY'-ur-oh-witz), AP correspondent)-"going on here"-AP AP airlines writer Scott Mayerowitz reports the ban on making calls or sending and receiving data may be difficult to enforce. (31 Oct 2013)

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150-c-15-(Scott Mayerowitz (MAY'-ur-oh-witz), AP airlines writer)-"is an issue"-AP AP airlines writer Scott Mayerowitz reports the claim that electronics interfere with a plane's navigation has never been proved. (31 Oct 2013)

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148-w-35-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP national security correspondent, with FAA administrator Michael Huerta)--The government is changing safety rules and will let airline passengers use most electronic devices from gate to gate. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports. (31 Oct 2013)

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APPHOTO DCEV101: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta announces that government safety rules are changing to let airline passengers use most electronic devices from gate-to-gate during a news conference, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport. The change will let passengers read, work, play games, watch movies and listen to music -- but not make cellphone calls. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) (31 Oct 2013)

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