Flight attendants ask court to overturn a ruling the Federal Aviation Administration made last year easing the use of computer tablets and smartphones on planes.
The federal aviation officials have been challenged by the flight attendants since Friday in a court. This battle has begun to stop the airline passengers from using electronic devices during takeoffs and landings. In a ruling announced last year, the Federal Aviation Administration eased out the use of computer tablets and smartphones on planes and in response to this, Assn. of Flight Attendants asked a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overturn this ruling which puts in question the safety of the flights.
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According to the claims of the flight attendants, the rule making process was heavily violated after FAA lifted restrictions that prevented passengers from using electronic devices on takeoffs and landings. They have been argued that the rules were changed by FAA without taking into consideration the public arguments and views. The union says this matter remains serious and must be given importance since the use of such electronic devices which can also bounce around the cabin during turbulence and injure passengers.
In one of the court documents the flight attendants have said that "When an agency proposes a controversial change in a rule that affects public safety, it must be made through the proper rule-making process.”
The court however seems to be siding with the FAA. According to the Associated Press, Judge Harry T. Edwards told a lawyer for the union that "Airlines have always had discretion on how to handle this.”
"We are confident in our position that the FAA violated the administrative procedure act in enacting a new national policy that directly conflicts with an existing regulation," said Amanda Dure, an attorney for the 60,000-member flight attendants union.
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