The F.A.A. may soon expand permissions for on board use of today's leading consumer electronics devices.
According to sources close to the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency hopes to relax the rules for ereaders and tablet devices - including Apple's iPad - during takeoff and landing.
The change, however, would not include cellphones.
One member of the group and an official of the F.A.A., both of whom asked for anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about internal discussions, said the agency was under tremendous pressure to let people use reading devices on planes, or to provide solid scientific evidence why they cannot.
“So it’s O.K. to have iPads in the cockpit; it’s O.K. for flight attendants — and they are not in a panic — yet it’s not O.K. for the traveling public,” McCaskill said. “A flying copy of ‘War and Peace’ is more dangerous than a Kindle.”