The FAA‘s 2013 decision regarding the use of electronics during flight saw the authority loosen up on rules. The result was the lawsuit pitting the Association of Flight Attendants against Administrator Michael Huerta. A DC appeals court recently dropped the suit citing that the court had “no jurisdiction to consider AFA’s challenge.”
The AFA’s suit was based on the notion that by lifting restrictions attention would be drawn away from pre-flight warnings and that PEDs (portable electronic devices) could be dangerous during flights as stray projectiles in the case of turbulence. Prior to the decision to restrict PED use, the only devices allowed during flight were “voice recorders, hearing aids, pacemakers, and shavers.”
The 2013 decision stems from the FAA looking into its safety regulations the year prior and deciding that it was best to accept public opinion regarding electronic device use during flights. According to page six of the AFA vs. Huerta, “more than a thousand comments were submitted, including one by the AFA,” and the FAA left decisions to a committee it formed to propose changes.
At the moment the AFA has yet to comment on the decision.