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McCaskill Lands Win With FAA’s Expanded Use of Electronic Devices

FAA announcement sets stage for electronic e-readers, iPads, Kindles to be permitted during takeoff and landing

October 31, 2013

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today scored a win for travelers, as the Federal Aviation Administration finally embraced the expanded use of portable electronic devices on airplanes.

"This is great news for the traveling public-and frankly, a win for common sense," said McCaskill, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection. "I applaud the FAA for taking the necessary steps to change these outdated regulations and I look forward to the airlines turning around quick plans for implementation."

The FAA today announced the results of a report by specialized rulemaking committee it convened on the topic, which recommended that expanded use of portable electronic devices would pose no risk to the traveling public. The agency also announced a plan in which airlines would submit plans for the expanded use of PEDs-plans that the FAA expects can be quickly approved. Talking on cell phones during flight will still be prohibited.

McCaskill was personally briefed this morning by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on the status of the committee's report-and the FAA's plans to work with the airline industry to quickly relax existing regulations-a process that the FAA believes could be largely completed by the end of the year. During their conversation, McCaskill thanked Huerta for the FAA's effort and urged the agency to move quickly on the implementation of new standards.

With attention now shifting to the airlines, who must submit plans to the FAA regarding how they will implement expanded use of personal electronic devices on flights, McCaskill expressed a need for continued urgency.

"I held the FAA's feet to the fire to move quickly and responsibly and it has now delivered," McCaskill said. "I expect the airlines, as key partner stakeholders who helped produce the recommendations to relax current restrictions, to move quickly so that Americans flying for the holidays no longer face restrictions that make no sense."

In her effort to push for the FAA to reexamine its current restrictions, McCaskill has written four times to the FAA administrator, met with the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to discuss expanded use of portable electronic devices, and questioned various government officials during Senate hearings.

Since joining the Senate in 2007, McCaskill has served on the Senate Committee on Commerce, which has jurisdiction over aviation and communications policy, and this year was named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance.

For more information on McCaskill's work to loosen these regulations,
visit www.McCaskill.senate.gov/PEDs.

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