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TUCoPS :: Radio :: scan_air.txt

Scanning aboard airliners

    scan.airline                                            AIRLNE.TXT
    /pub/hamradio/docs/misc                               Hamnet Lib 2                                         CompuServe
    []                                     [70035,140]

                                                            March 1995

                        Scanning Aboard Airliners

    The question of the use of scanning receivers aboard commercial
airlines arises from time to time. The following is an extract from
the FAA Regulations (FARs) and the stated positions of a number of
major carriers.
    It should be noted that in FAR 91.21, the term "operator" refers
to the airline, not the pilot. The captain on your flight may impose
additional restrictions depending on conditions, but he may not waive
limits established by the airline.
    The quotations from various airline policies were correct as of
the date noted, but are subject to change. If any question arises, ask
the cabin attendant to check with the flight crew, then obey their
instructions. I may be on the same flight, and I would prefer that
stray R.F. not vector us into the side of a mountain.


Federal Aviation Administration Regulations
14 CFR 91.21  -  Portable Electronic Devices

(a)  Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person
may operate, nor may any operator or pilot in command of an aircraft
allow the operation of, any portable electronic device on any of the
following U.S.-registered civil aircraft:
   (1) Aircraft operated by a holder of an air carrier operating
certificate or an operating certificate; or
   (2) Any other aircraft while it is operated under IFR.

(b)  Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to -
   (1) Portable voice recorders;
   (2) Hearing aids;
   (3) Heart pacemakers;
   (4) Electric shavers;  or
   (5) Any 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.

(c)  In the case of an aircraft operated by a holder of an air carrier
operating certificate or an operating certificate, the determination
required by paragraph (b)(5) of this section shall be made by that
operator of the aircraft on which the particular device is to be used.
In the case of other aircraft, the determination may be made by the
pilot in command or other operator of the aircraft.


Delta Air Lines
  from the "On Board" section of SKY magazine, January 1995

PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES - Current regulations prohibit the use
of certain types of portable electronic devices (PEDs) on board
commercial aircraft, due to the potential for interference with
navigation and communications equipment.
   The following devices may not be operated at any time on Delta
aircraft:  cellular telephones, commercial two-way transmitters (i.e.
walkie-talkies); amateur transmitters (i.e. ham radios); citizen band
(CB) transmitters; 49 MHz transmitters; devices designed to radiate
RF energy on a specific frequency; peripheral devices for computers or
games connected by cable (i.e. printers); AM/FM radios and portable TV
sets; remote-control toys.
    The following may not be operated when the aircraft is at the
gate, in the taxi, take-off, initial climb, approach, and landing
phases:  personal computers (cable-connected peripheral devices such
as printers, external disc drives, etc, are not authorized); personal
computer games; VHF scanner receivers; compact-disc players; digital/
cassette-tape player-recorders; video recorders/playback systems;
    The following may be operated at all times:  hearing aids; heart
pacemakers and other implanted medical devices; electronic watches;
electronic nerve stimulators; properly certified operator-installed
and -maintained equipment, such as the public passenger-telephone
equipment. Personal life-support systems may be operated during all
phases of flight, provided that the equipment conforms to the criteria
established by the administrator of the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA).


United Airlines
  press release


    Chicago, June 22, 1993 -- United Airlines today announced that
effective July 1, it will prohibit the use of portable electronic
devices, such as laptop computers and compact disc players, onboard
its aircraft during takeoffs and landings.
    United said its policy was developed to address the possibility
of such devices causing electromagnetic interference with cockpit
navigation or communications systems when aircraft are on the ground
or flying below 10,000 feet -- the most critical phase of aircraft
    "We have not experienced any safety problems with these devices,
but enough questions have been raised in the industry to prompt us to
implement this policy as a precautionary measure until further study
determines if any safety hazard exists," said Ed Soliday, United's
director-corporate safety and security.
    Excluded from the new policy are electronic medical devices --
such as hearing aids and pacemakers -- and electronic watches, which
may be used onboard an aircraft at any time.
    United said when an aircraft is flying at or above 10,000 feet --
which normally occurs within 10 minutes of takeoff and until 10
minutes before landing -- passengers may use the following devices:
    o compact disc players;
    o electronic cameras (film or video);
    o electric shavers;
    o hand-held electronic calculators;
    o hand-held electronic games;
    o portable audio tape players;
    o portable video players (tape playback only);
    o portable voice recorders (dictation equipment);
    o portable computers with accessory printers and tape
      or disk drives.



American Airlines
  from the "Vantage Point" column of American Way magazine,  July 1993


    Products known to cause problems include cellular phones, portable
radios and televisions, and remote-control toys, which federal
regulators have long barred on commercial aircraft. (The Airfones
available on most of our airplanes are specially engineered to
eliminate interference with aircraft systems, and they have been
thoroughly tested to ensure that result.)
    The jury is out on whether other devices - small computers,
compact-disc players, hand-held video games among them - have similar
effects. Although scientific studies have been inconclusive, there is
mounting anecdotal evidence of sporatic and poorly understood
problems. When safety is at stake, taking avoidable risk is simply
unacceptable. That is why some air carriers outlaw the use of
electronic devices during all or part of their flights. American
Airlines announced recently that it will no longer permit the use of
such devices during takeoff and landing, and while flying at altitudes
lower than 10,000 feet, the phases of flight during which cockpit
instruments are used most intensively.



Atlantic Southeast Airlines
  from the ASA Flight Attendant Manual, pp 3-49&50,   November 2, 1993

3.13.  Portable electronic devices

A.  Regulations

The FAA prohibits use of electronic devices such as AM/FM radios,
cellular telephones, etc. during flight. These receivers have circuits
which can radiate signals strong enough to interfere with the
aircraft's navigational systems. Non-transmitting portable electronic
devices shall not be used during takeoff and landing when the seat
belt sign is on, or when directed by a crew member, or during
operations below 10,000 feet. However, non-transmitting portable
electronic devices may be used at other times. If interference from
the portable electronic device is suspected, the captain may prohibit
operation of the device.

1.  Prohibited equipment
The following may not be operated at any time on ASA aircraft:
  a. Cellular telephones.
  b. Commercial two-way radios (i.e. Walkie Talkie).
  c. Personal two-way radios (i.e. Ham operators).
  d. Citizen Band (CB) radio.
  e. 49 MHz Transmitters.
  f. Peripheral devices for computers or computer games
     (i.e. printers, external mouse, "joy sticks").
  g. AM/FM radios and televisions.
  h. Remote controlled toys.
  i. Devices designed to radiate radio frequencies (RF) energy on
     specific frequencies.
  j. Cassette tape players with AM/FM radio capability.
  k. Cpmpact Disc players.

2.  Acceptable equipment
The following may be operated when there is not a sterile cockpit in
effect. The devices must be turned off when the seat belt sign is
turned on for approach.
  a. Personal computers (see restriction f above).
  b. Personal computer games (see restriction f above).
  c. VHF scanner receivers.
  d. Digital cassette tape player-recorders.
  e. Video recorders/internal playback systems.
  f. Calculators.

3.  The following devices may be operated at all times.
  a. Hearing aids.
  b. Heart pacemakers or other implanted medical devices.
  c. Electronic watches.
  d. Electronic nerve stimulators.
  e. Electric shavers.
  f. ASA installed equipment.
  g. Pagers.
  h. Acceptable personal life support systems.


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