In response to a recent airline incident where laptop use may have contributed to pilot distraction, lawmakers have introduced legislation that would ban certain electronic devices from airline cockpits.
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee's aviation subcommittee, introduced a bill this month to prohibit the use of personal wireless communications devices and laptop computers by the flight crew—except for flight-related purposes—during part 121 air carrier operations.
The Distracted Flying Act, S.2745, would allow the FAA to suspend or revoke an airman’s certificate for a violation or impose a civil penalty of up to $25,000 against an air carrier or up to $1,100 against an individual pilot.
The bill would not restrict the use of electronic flight bags and would permit use of personal electronic devices to assist in the operation of the aircraft or for emergency, safety, or employment-related communication.
In its current form, the bill applies only to Part 121 operations and would not affect GA. Because electronic devices often play a critical role in safe operation of general aviation aircraft, AOPA will continue to monitor the legislation.