FAA

AT&T and Verizon agree to put 5G expansion plans on hold

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AT&T and Verizon postpone 5G expansion
The FAA is worried 5G will interfere with pilot systems.
Photo: Philip Myrtorp/Unsplash

AT&T and Verizon have agreed to postpone major 5G expansion plans at the request of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Both carriers initially rejected a delay. They argued that it would be “an irresponsible abdication of the operating control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks.” But statements released Monday evening confirm they changed their minds.

DJI’s new Mavic Mini is the perfect drone for everyone

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DJI
The Mavic Mini is ready for liftoff.
Photo: DJI

DJI unleashed its smallest and lightest drone on the world this morning and it just might be the cutest drone ever.

The Mavic Mini is so light it’s one of the first (if not the first) mass-market drones that does not have to be registered with the FAA. Don’t be fooled by its tiny size. This little drone can capture some serious cinematic footage and it’s so cheap it won’t hurt your bank account.

If you’ve been thinking of getting your first drone, this is the one for you:

The dangerous reason you still can’t make in-flight phone calls

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Boeing 777
A known hazard from using a cell phone on a flight will — at long last — be removed by the end of 2019.
Photo: Boeing

Dozens of airplanes still have equipment subject to cellular phone interference. This is one of the reasons why iPhones and Androids have to be in airplane mode during flight. Fortunately, this danger will soon go away. The best-known cockpit system to have problems with cellular radios has to be replaced before the end of 2019.

Does that mean in-flight phone calls will become part of travel?

US bans fliers from bringing batteries on passenger planes as cargo

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Hawaiian Airlines
You'll have to bring batteries in your carry-on now.
Photo: Hawaiian Airlines

The US Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration is making it a little bit harder for fliers to haul lithium-ion batteries to new destinations.

Under new rules revealed today, passengers are banned from storing lithium-ion cells or batteries on cargo during commercial flights. There’s also a new ban that prevents companies from shipping batteries with more than 30 percent charge on cargo-only flights.

U.S. bans laptops and tablets on flights from 10 airports

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Emirates
Emirates is one of the airlines affected by the ban.
Photo: Emirates

The U.S. has confirmed a ban on laptops, tablets and other large electronics on flights from 10 international airports throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

These devices can be carried in checked baggage, but they’re no longer allowed in the passenger cabin. The U.K. is set to announce a similar ban shortly.

As more drones take to the skies, droneports will become a thing

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Rendering of the Eldorado Droneport.
Rendering of the Eldorado Droneport.
Photo: The Aerodrome

Just when you thought it was hard to achieve a first in flight in this day and age, a city near Las Vegas has broken ground on what is believed to be the first commercial drone airport.

The Aerodrome, a non-profit in unmanned aircraft education, has partnered with Boulder City, Nevada to develop the droneport. The 50-acre site about 28 miles from the Las Vegas Strip is already partially operational but won’t be complete until 2018.

FAA hits turbulence with drone registration

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The FAA is trying to address glitches in its new online drone registration process.
The FAA is trying to address glitches in its new online drone registration process.
Photo: Cult of Mac file

Several thousand drone pilots registered their aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration within the first 24 hours, but glitches in the system briefly shut it down after takeoff.

The FAA said the new mandatory online registration had to be shutdown for troubleshooting but would reopen Thursday.

FAA will force fliers to register drones before Christmas

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Drones and HD cameras are affordable, giving everyone a chance to make beautiful, cinematic video.
Drones and HD cameras are affordable, giving everyone a chance to make beautiful, cinematic video.
Photo: DJI

While you’re writing that thank you note to the Santa who bought you the quadcopter you’ve always wanted, you will also want to take a moment to register your aircraft with the FAA.

The registration rule was signed into law last month by the Federal Aviation Administration and any drone weighing between .55 pounds and 50 pounds must be registered starting Dec. 21.

FCC Chairman Tells FAA To Allow Greater Use of iPads on Airplanes, Already

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Jetstar-Buys-Hundreds-of-iPads-for-Airplane-Passengers-2
Let us use our monkey-flappin' iPads on the monkey-flappin' plane, already!

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today pushed for a wider use of electronic portable devices in-flight.

In a letter to Michael Huerta, the acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called for the FAA to “enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices” during airplane travel.

About time, right?

American Airlines Gets FAA Approval To Use iPads During Takeoff

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iPad Air 3 will pick up some tricks from the iPad Pro.
iPad Air 3 will pick up some tricks from the iPad Pro.
Photo: Apple

Using an iPad on a plane during takeoff is one of the biggest sins in the galaxy. Just ask Alec Baldwin. There hasn’t been much proof that it’s bad, but no one wants to test fate. The Federal Avaiation Administration is finally starting to relax on their electronics rules though.

American Airlines just became the first commercial carrier to get FAA approval to kit their pilots’ flight bags with iPads, and they get to use them in “all phases of flight.” I bet the pilots are stoked that they get play Angry Birds In Space during takeoff.

Want To Use Your iPhone Or iPad During Takeoff? The FAA Wants To Hear From You

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The FAA forces us to turn off our electronics during takeoff and landing. Tell them you want that rule changed.
The FAA forces us to turn off our electronics during takeoff and landing. Tell them you want that rule changed.

No one likes turning off their portable electronics on a flight during takeoff and landing, especially if they’re as harmless as an iPod or an e-reader. And the rule if often the subject of debate as we all become more reliant on these devices on a daily basis.

Thankfully, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now ready to reconsider the rule, and it’s asking passengers, flight attendants, airlines, and the makers of electronic devices for their opinion. Tell the FAA you think the rule is silly and you could help towards getting it abolished.

FAA To Dramatically Expand iPad Use While Punting on BYOD

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The FAA to expand iPad use, create internal app store
The FAA to expand iPad use, create internal app store

There’s been a lot of news stories this year about iPhone and iPad use by U.S. federal agencies. Most of those stories have been reports of agencies ditching BlackBerries for iPhones and/or iPads.

This week’s news from the FAA is different in that the FAA already has iPads in the hands of employees and the agency is planning to expand their user dramatically – to the point where employees will be offered a choice between an iPad and a laptop as their mobile computing device.

F.A.A. Taking “Fresh Look” At Passenger iPad, Device Use During Takeoff/Landing

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iPad ban during takeoff/landing being reconsidered
iPad ban during takeoff/landing being reconsidered

Anyone who’s ever flown is familiar with the “please turn off all electronic devices” speech that flight attendants give after closing the airplane door and again shortly before landing. The ban on electronic devices of all kinds exists out of fear that devices might interfere with the planes navigation and other systems, even if the device doesn’t include any sort of radio antenna.

The ban on electronic devices has come under fire recently as the F.A.A. has been certifying the use of iPads in the cockpit during all phases of flight (including takeoff and landing) by various commercial airlines as a replacement for hefty “flight bags” of paper manuals and charts.

In a move that will music to the ears of Words With Friends addict Alec Baldwin, the agency is looking at allowing the use of electronic devices by passengers during takeoff and landing

Why You Can’t Use Your iPhone During Take-Off

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Photo by tom cochrane - http://flic.kr/p/6GM1c8
Photo by tom cochrane - http://flic.kr/p/6GM1c8

Our opinion of the government has never been lower, and every day there is ample proof why. Take the FAA, for example. Despite the absolute lack of evidence that your iPhone can knock a plane from the sky, passengers are still told to turn off their phones. The reason why such a Luddite-like rule exists without any proof? Because there’s no proof iPhones won’t hurt planes, either. Don’t get whiplash shaking your head in utter amazement.