Airline passengers will soon be able to use their electronic devices throughout the entirety of their flights — yes, even during takeoff. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) formally announced today that it has loosened restrictions on personal electronic usage during flights, meaning that the days of stowing away your smartphone until you’re in the air are nearing an end.
The changes aren’t going into effect immediately–airlines will have to go through different implementation processes that prove to the FAA that their planes can fly safely with gadgets activated. The FAA doesn’t expect the processes to take very long, however, as it expects the new policy to go widely into effect by the end of the year.
The FAA notes that this doesn’t change all the rules about device usage during flights. Cell phones will still have to be in airplane mode, and larger items will still have to be put away during takeoff and landing. But if you really couldn’t take the 10 minutes of a flight in which you couldn’t play a game, read an e-book or watch a movie, congratulations, you won.