Electronic democracy in action? Hopefully, although that remains to be seen. The official Whitehouse.gov site now has a petition on it requesting the FAA regulation prohibiting electronic devices during some stages of flight be amended.
Here’s the text of the petition :
Portable electronic devices like the Amazon Kindle, the iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry devices all have “airplane mode” built in to the devices software that minimizes the electronic signals these devices emit.
To date, there is no evidence that electromagnetic interference, in any way, affects aviation equipment. Studies to date conclude that there’s little risk to allowing electronic devices to be used during takeoff and landing. Despite passengers “bending the rules” or forgetting to turn off devices on planes for years, there’s been no known incident of an air accident caused by electromagnetic interference from devices.
Allow devices that have “Airplane Mode” to be used during taxi, takeoff, and landing through revising FAA regulation.
The Travel Insider strongly supports this petition.
If you’d like to be able to continue quietly reading your eBook or listening to music through your MP3 player or whatever else, too, during the half hour or more where you are currently needlessly ordered to turn your devices off, would you please go to the White House website and add your electronic signature to the petition.
Currently there are 788 signatures. 25,000 signatures are needed by 3 January for it to be brought to the attention of White House staff and sent to the appropriate policy experts for review and response (whatever that means!).
So please add your support to this worthy issue, and please share this petition among your friends, family, and colleagues.
The political reality is that if the petition gets 25,000 signatures, the matter will receive little more than an unthinking non-response, as is hinted at by the vaguely worded promise of a response. But if it gets 250,000 signatures, it will cause policy makers to realize this truly is an issue, and should it receive 2,500,000 signatures, well, maybe something will actually happen!
So let’s aim for 250,000 signatures rather than only 25,000; and let’s hope for 2,500,000.
(Note – this petition is being hosted on the official White House website. It is not a scam or a trick.)