NOTICE

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

N 8900.240

 

National Policy

Effective Date: 10/31/13

 

 

Cancellation Date: 10/31/14

 

SUBJ:

Expanded Use of Passenger Portable Electronic Devices (PED)

1.    Purpose of This Notice. This notice provides guidance to aviation safety inspectors (ASI) providing oversight of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 91 subpart K (part 91K), 121, 125 (including Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) 125M), and 135 certificate holders implementing policy that allows expanded use of passenger-supplied portable electronic devices (PEDs) throughout various phases of flight. This notice also includes information about the PED Focus Team (PFT) established to support ASIs in reviewing, evaluating, and accepting the operatorís proposals for expanded use of PEDs.

2.    Audience. The primary audience for this notice is Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Standards Service (AFS) field offices (Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO)), certificate management offices (CMO), and ASIs with oversight responsibility of aircraft operations conducted under parts 91K, 121, 125, and 135. The secondary audience includes AFS divisions, branches, regions, and headquarters (HQ).

3.    Where You Can Find This Notice. Inspectors can access this notice through the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) at http://www.fsims.avs.faa.gov. Operators and the public can find this notice at http://fsims.faa.gov. This notice is available to the public at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/orders_notices.

4.    Background. On January 7, 2013, the FAA established the PED Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to provide a forum for the U.S. aviation community and government regulatory groups to review PED policy and guidance. This ARC was tasked with making recommendations on allowing additional passenger PED usage without compromising the continued safe operation of the aircraft. The ARC submitted its final report and recommendations to the FAA on September 30, 2013. The report contains recommendations that can be implemented in the very near term, as well as changes in policy and guidance that need additional time to be considered and implemented.

5.    PED Use Determination. Sections 91.21, 121.306, 125.204, and 135.144 establish the regulatory requirements for the use of PEDs. The regulations permit the unrestricted use of portable voice recorders, hearing aids, heart pacemakers, and electric shavers. Additionally, the regulations permit the use of ďany other portable electronic device that the operator of the aircraft has determined will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft on which it is to be used.Ē With the exception of the four devices listed above, the aircraft operator is solely responsible for determining which PEDs may be used on its aircraft. Each operatorís PED policy identifies what types of devices may be used during which phase(s) of flight. Crewmembers are responsible for informing passengers about the aircraft operatorís PED policy.

6.    Guidance Documents for Operators. The PED ARC report identified a method of expanding the use of passenger PEDs beyond what is typically approved today. To support industry, the FAA has drafted InFO 13010 and an associated Aid for Operators to provide initial guidance on an acceptable method for the expanded use of passenger PEDs. This guidance and the ARC report can be found at the following links:

a.    ARC Report: http://www.faa.gov/news/.

b.    Expanding PED Use Guidance and FAQs: http://www.faa.gov/passengers/.

c.    Aid for Operators: http://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/.

d.    InFO 13010: http://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info/all_infos/.

7.    PED Focus Team (PFT). Due to public interest, the FAA expects aircraft operators to rapidly move to expand the use of passenger PEDs to additional phases of flight. To support this anticipated activity and to facilitate standardization, AFS has established the PFT to provide direct support to ASIs in expediting the review and acceptance of an aircraft operatorís proposal to expand the use of passenger PEDs. The PFT is comprised of individuals from the Air Transportation Division (AFS-200) and the Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS-300), the policy divisions that have been involved in the PED ARC. ASIs should immediately contact the PFT if assistance is needed or they have questions regarding acceptance and/or approval of an operatorís program changes. The PFT will coordinate issues with the requesting ASI. A dedicated email mailbox has been created to communicate with the PFT. The email address is provided in the Action paragraph of this notice. The PFT team lead is the manager of the Avionics Branch, AFS-360, who can be reached at 202-385-6435.

8.    Policy for Expansion of PED Use. Both technical and operational concerns must be addressed when expanding use of passenger PEDs. The FAA has developed an Aid for Operators as a tool for use when determining if expanded PED use is appropriate. The paragraphs below outline the general areas to be addressed and provide guidance to ASIs for reviewing an operatorís proposal. Refer to InFO 13010 and the associated Aid for Operators for more detailed information and immediately contact the PFT with any questions or concerns.

a.    PED Use Determination Ė Technical. To comply with ßß 91.21, 121.306, 125.204, and 135.144, the operator must make a determination that use of passenger PEDs will not interfere with the aircraftís navigation and communications systems. The Aid for Operators contains information about an acceptable method of compliance to assist in making this determination. The FAA does not approve an operatorís finding of non-interference. An ASI should accept a proposal consistent with the guidance in InFO 13010 and the associated Aid for Operators. Contact the PFT if assistance is needed on determining the acceptability of an operatorís proposal for expanded PED use.

b.    PED Use Determination Ė Operational. Expanding PED use to other phases of flight may require an operator to revise various parts of its policies, manuals, and passenger information literature. Communication of the changes to crewmembers and passengers is critical to support the expanded use of passenger PEDs. Contact the PFT if you need assistance to determine the acceptability of an operatorís proposed program changes.

(1)    Flight Manuals/Handbooks/Checklists. Operator procedural and communications checklists for Normal, Abnormal, and Emergency operations may need revisions and approvals as applicable.
(2)    Pre-Departure Safety Briefing. Operator procedures should address the expanded use of passenger PEDs during the safety briefing. Operators should ensure compliance with 14 CFR Part 382, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel, when developing the expanded PED policy.
(3)    PED Securing and Stowage. An operator may need to revise its approved carry-on baggage program to allow expanded use of passenger PEDs. Appendix G of the PED ARC Report provides considerations for an operator when establishing policy and guidance for securing and stowing PEDs. Allowing expanded use of passenger PEDs into the takeoff and landing phases of flight may change the flight attendantís (F/A) responsibilities from confronting and reporting passenger noncompliance to informing passengers of the content of PED policy. F/As should inform passengers regarding the safest way to secure and stow all items. An expanded operatorís program should address the following general concerns (as required):

    Large PED, such as full-size laptops, must be safely stowed so as not to present a hazard in the event of severe turbulence, crash forces, or emergency egress.

    PED policy should define ďsmall PEDsĒ and describe how these items may safely remain powered on, as long as they are secure (not loose) during takeoff and landing. For example, the passenger may have a small PED secured in-hand, in a belt or arm holster or in a pant pocket.

    PED cords or accessories must not impede emergency egress.

    PED policy should still prohibit the use of e-cigarettes.

9.    Action. Process requests for expanded use of passenger PEDs by following the information in this notice. ASIs in need of additional information or assistance with their review and acceptance/approval of an operatorís proposal for expanded use of passenger PEDs should contact the PFT using email address PEDSAT@faa.gov or call the PFT team lead at 202-385-4292.

10.  Disposition. We will incorporate the information in this notice into Order 8900.1 before this notice expires. Direct questions concerning the information in this notice to the AFS-200/AFS-300 PFT team lead at 202-385-4292.

 

ORIGINAL SIGNED by

/s/ John Barbagallo for

 

John S. Duncan

Director, Flight Standards Service