FAA Considering Rules Limiting Pilots' Electronics Use | Clifford Law Offices PC
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    FAA Considering Rules Limiting Pilots’ Electronics Use

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    Posted on January 17, 2013 To

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a rule for pilots that would ban use of electronics while working. The proposed rule would prohibit flight crew members from using a personal wireless communications device or laptop computer for personal use “while at their duty station on the flight deck while the aircraft is being operated.” As reported in the Federal Register, the rule “is intended to ensure that certain non-essential activities do not contribute to the challenge of task management on the flight deck or a loss of situational awareness due to attention to non-essential tasks.” It refers to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that was enacted a year ago by Congress on the prohibition of the personal use of electronic devices on the flight deck which address the issue of “a breakdown of sterile cockpit discipline.” The Federal Register refers to some high profile incidents including a 150-mile fly-by of a destination while two pilots were using their personal laptops during a cruise flight. Because of these and other pilots losing “situational awareness,” the FAA indicated in the Federal Register that this can lead to a “breakdown in task management.” Important tasks such as “missing information from one source when concentrating on another, altitude or course deviations, dominance of visual cues to the extent that pilots many not hear certain aural warnings, misinterpreting ATC instructions, or experiencing task overload” all come into play. Comments from the public on the proposed rule can be made by visiting here.