FAA, flight attendants square off over electronics

The nation’s largest flight attendants union is arguing that aviation officials flew in the face of a federal law last year when they cleared passengers to use small electronic devices during take-offs and landings.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear Friday from lawyers for the union and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA announced last year that it was changing guidance that had for years resulted in passengers stowing cellphones, tablets and music and video players during takeoffs and landings.

The flight attendants union says that in expanding the use of personal electronic devices, the FAA changed an agency regulation without steps required by law. The union says the electronics can distract passengers from safety information and become dangerous projectiles.

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