The FAA is officially allowing the use of some electronics during takeoff and landing, not just while in the air.
Until now, passengers in the United States were prohibited from using the devices until their plane rose above 10,000 feet.
A ban on using cell phones for voice communication remains in effect.
Airlines will need to submit a plan to manage electronics use, including outlines for new flight attendant training, for the FAA’s approval. And that approval could come quickly: Delta says it has already completed testing and submitted a plan.
The FAA has posted a set of frequently asked questions to its site, noting that not all airline fleets will be able to implement the regulations right away. Part of the planning phase includes making sure that planes can handle the radio interference signals from devices, as well as changing carry-on and stowing policies to differentiate between light devices like tablets and heavier ones like laptops, which could pose a physical danger in a bumpy takeoff.
The decision comes a month after an investigatory panel officially recommended that passengers be allowed to use personal electronic device at any point during a flight.