For months we've heard chatter about the F.A.A. possibly expanding permissions for in-flight use of today's leading consumer electronics devices, including Apple's iPad.
As recently as last month, sources close to the Federal Aviation Administration suggested that the agency intends to relax the rules for ereaders and tablet devices during takeoff and landing.
For fliers, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, the new rules would probably represent an end to familiar warnings to turn off and stow all electronic devices.
Cellphone calls are expected to remain off-limits, however. "The draft doesn't make any recommendations regarding phone use because the FAA didn't authorize the panel to delve into that particularly controversial area," the report reads.
If the FAA does not ease its standards, the advisory group worries, "confidence in the FAA and the [industry's] ability to integrate personal electronic device usage will erode."
As of this writing, there is no confirmation of when the relaxed rules may take effect.