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10.03.13b – (LAA) – Onboard Personal Electronic Devices

APFA Hotline Update – Onboard Personal Electronic Devices – October 3, 2013

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On Monday, APFA received a private briefing from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prior to the Advisory Committee submitting their report on the expanded use of personal electronic devices (PED). 
In January 2013, the FAA established the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) for Portable Electronic Devices. The FAA Administrator has jurisdiction and authority under Title 49 to review the policy. The PED ARC was charged with making recommendations to further clarify and provide guidance on allowing expanded use of PEDs without compromising the continued safe operation of the aircraft.
Under current FAA regulation, the aircraft operator is responsible for determining which PEDs may be used and when.
It was 1966, nearly five decades ago, that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first published regulations to address the issue regarding the use of portable electronic devices (PED) on aircraft. PEDs have changed considerably in the past few decades. Since the initial rule making, the FAA has led four industry activities to study PEDs as they have evolved. 
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta will make the final decision on the revised rules. APFA understands that the responsibility for enforcing an aircraft operators’ PED policy typically falls on the Flight Attendants. We remain actively engaged in the review of any changes that may result to our procedures.
When the FAA implements any changes to the current PED regulation, APFA’s Safety and Security Department will work closely with Flight Service on the necessary changes to our current procedures regarding PED use while on board the aircraft. We will ensure that all Flight Attendants receive the proper guidance and support needed while monitoring any new PED FAA regulation and the approved use of certain items during all phases of flight. Until any policy changes have been made and implemented, all Flight Attendants should continue to follow the current PED policy.

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