A) The pilot in command or air carrier are the final authority on what may or may not be operated on an aircraft outside of the following:
B) FCC says no cellphone from the airplane because the higher altitude means you can block/interfere with many cell towers.
C) Portable Electronics must be disabled any time the aircraft is in motion and under 10,000 feet altitude to reduce the risk of distraction from announcements and possible navigation equipment interference.
14 CFR part 91 subpart 21:
§ 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(b) Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to—
(2) Any other aircraft while it is operated under IFR.(1) Portable voice recorders;(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.
(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.
The same texts are provided in Section 91.21, 121.306, 125.204, and 135.144. 121 = air carriers. 125 = >20 pax or > 6000 LBS payload. 135 = commuter & on-demand flight ops.
Advisory Circular 91.21-1B Use of Portable Electronic Devices Abroad Aircraft
5. DISCUSSION.a. The related 14 CFR sections in paragraph 3 allow for the operation of PEDs that the operator of the aircraft has determined will not interfere with the navigation or communication system of that aircraft. In addition to the originally addressed non-transmitting PEDs, this revised AC also recognizes and provides guidance on the potential use of T-PEDS. It should be noted that the responsibility for permitting passenger use of a particular PED technology lies solely with the operator.6. RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES FOR THE OPERATION OF PEDs ABOARD AIRCRAFT. If an operator allows the use of PEDs aboard its aircraft, procedures should be established and spelled out clearly to control their use during passenger-carrying operations. The procedures, when used in conjunction with an operator’s program, should provide the following:
b. When safely at cruise altitude, the pilot could allow the devices to be operated. If interference is experienced, the types of devices causing interference could be isolated, along with the applicable conditions recorded. The device responsible for the interference should then be turned off.
...a. Methods to inform passengers of permissible times, conditions, and limitations when various PEDs may be used. This may be accomplished through the departure briefing, passenger information cards, captain’s announcement, and other methods deemed appropriate by the operator. For air carrier operations conducted under 14 CFR part 121 or part 135, the limitations, as a minimum, should state that use of all such devices (except certain inaccessible medical electronic devices, for example, heart pacemakers) are prohibited during any phase of operation when their use could interfere with the communication or navigation equipment on board the aircraft or the ability of the flightcrew to give necessary instructions in the event of an emergency.7. CELLULAR & ONBOARD TELEPHONE SYSTEMS.
e...The operation of a PED is prohibited, unless the device is specifically listed in section 91.21(b)(1) through (4). However, even if the device is an exception from the general prohibition on the use of PEDs, an operator may prohibit use of that PED. The use of all other PEDs is prohibited by regulation, unless pursuant to section 91.21(b)(5).
f. Prohibiting the operation of any PEDs during the takeoff and landing phases of flight. It must be recognized that the potential for personal injury to passengers is a paramount consideration, as well as is the possibility of missing significant safety announcements during important phases of flight. This prohibition is in addition to lessening the possible interference that may arise during sterile cockpit operations (below 10,000 feet).a. T-PEDs have considerations in addition to those listed in paragraph 6. These include cellular telephones, citizens band radios, remote control devices, computers with wireless network capabilities, and other wireless-enabled devices such as PDAs, etc. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) currently prohibits the use of cell phones while airborne. Its primary concern is that a cell phone, used while airborne, would have a much greater transmitting range than a land mobile unit. Their use could result in unwanted interference to transmissions at other cell locations since the system uses the same frequency several times within a market or given operating area. Since a cell phone is capable of operating on various cellular frequencies, unwanted interference may also affect cellular systems in adjacent markets or operating areas.