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Have any governmental agencies done comprehensive tests on the effects of personal electonics used in the cabins (and cockpits) of commercial airliners?

With the ubiquitousness of cell phones, laptops, kindles, ipads, etc, it strikes me that everyone seems to just know that using a cell phone in the cabin of an airliner has no appreciable/measureable affect on the electronics of the aircraft.

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you start the question being neutral, you end it assuming nobody did it. – Federico Aug 20 '14 at 11:21
@Frederico I deleted the biased paragraph. You were correct. – CGCampbell Aug 20 '14 at 12:36
Take a cellphone with you in the cockpit and you will witness yourself that it interferes with radio communication. You can hear in your headgear each time when it negotiates its connection with a cell tower. – Peter Kämpf Aug 20 '14 at 14:53
@PeterKämpf Years ago, as a contractor to the US Government, I was issued a BlackBerry. That thing wa notorious for interference. Every time it checked status with the networks, 'bzzt bzzt bzzzzzt'. I don't recall hearing that with more modern cell phones, however. – CGCampbell Aug 20 '14 at 15:23
@CGCampbell: My observation is a few years old, so I guess we had the same experience. It seems that modern phones don't stray as much in lower bands. – Peter Kämpf Aug 20 '14 at 15:55
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, they have done a lot of testing, hence why they now finally realize that most electronics are of no harm, and you can use them.

The FAA announcement page has a link to a fact sheet of their report, as well as a link to the PDF of the report.

In addition to the FAA report, other agencies have weighed in (such as Boeing). Basically, the rules were instituted in the 1960s, and remained virtually unchanged since then, so it was time to make a change.

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