After receiving a tepid response from the FAA on the prospect of changing rules to allow electronic devices like iPads and Kindles to be used throughout a flight, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) announced that she is beginning to craft legislation instead.
McCaskill wrote FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in December, asking him to reconsider the restrictions and telling him that she would look into "legislative solutions" if changes were too slow. McCaskill called his response "concerning."
"It didn’t say anything," McCaskill said. "Mr. Huerta basically said ‘we have a process and we’re looking at it.’ But it’s been a year since they’ve taken a fresh look at it."
She says she's only talking about changing the policy for electronic devices like Kindles and iPads, not cell phones.
"This is not complicated," McCaskill said. "If they have some kind of hidden evidence somewhere that Kindles and iPads pose a more serious threat than hardback books, then present it. If they don’t have evidence to that, then change the rule. But I’m confident they don’t have that evidence."
McCaskill, who serves on the Senate Commerce Committee, says she is going to get representatives from different stakeholders and then begin drafting the legislation. She gave no specific timeline, but said “we can move this bill pretty quickly.”
You can read the FAA's response to McCaskill here, and the Senator's response is below.
Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter: @csmcdaniel