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Springfield Travelers React To FAA's Relaxed Digital Restrictions

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Turning off cellphones and other approved electronic devices is no longer a federal in-flight rule, and all of the passengers who spoke Thursday with KOLR10 said they were happy about the change.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Turning off cellphones and other approved electronic devices is no longer a federal in-flight rule, and all of the passengers who spoke Thursday with KOLR10 said they were happy about the change.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced the change, allowing air passengers to use electronic devices from gate to gate.

"I think it will make us more productive," passenger Gary Greenfield said.

Until now, passengers were not allowed to use any electronic device until their plane rose above 10,000 feet. Now, the devices can remain powered on.

"There was a lot of pressure put on the federal government to try to do something about that and the FAA has reacted in a remarkably short period of time," Springfield-Branson National Airport spokesman Kent Boyd said. "It was less than a year ago that Sen. Claire McCaskill asked the FAA to look into this, and now they've announced that they are going to do something about it. I think everybody is going to be happy about it."

Passengers still won't be able to make calls or send messages using cell service.

Delta Airlines, which serves the Springfield-Branson airport, already submitted a plan to implement the changes.

"I think it's perfectly fine to ease them, as long as they are not invasive to the other passengers and they're not contributing in any way to safety in the cockpit. I think it's fine. I'm all for it," passenger Emma Andreu said.

Sen. Claire McCaskill released a statement today calling the move a "win for common sense."

"I applaud the FAA for taking the necessary steps to change these outdated regulations and I look forward to the airlines turning around quick plans for implementation," McCaskill said.

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