You’re a businessperson on a tight schedule who can’t afford much down time. You’re a mother trying to keep a bored and active 6-year-old occupied.

All these situations — and more — would be easier to handle in the confines of an airplane if passengers could use cellphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices during takeoff and landing.

Now, the Federal Communications Commission is pushing for that to happen.

The FAA announced in August that it would take another look at its policy banning the use of electronic devices. The review is expected to take six months.

According to an FAA study in June, none of the international carriers that allow cellular connectivity has experienced any safety or behavior-related problems associated with use of cellphones.

Allowing broader use of personal electronic devices on commercial airlines is overdue. As long as they pass critical safety tests, the FAA should allow use of these devices in a world where most people are lost without them.

However, even if the FAA changes its policy, don’t expect it to happen soon. The experts estimate it could take up to two years to adequately test each personal electronic device on each type of plane to ensure safety is not at stake.

So, in the meantime, make sure to pack plenty of books, magazines or non-electronic games and gadgets to keep occupied during takeoff, landings — and those unexpected delays on the tarmac.

— The Express-Times,

Easton, Pa., Dec. 9

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