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Q17: Can I use a radio, either a broadcast or aviation receiver, in an aircraft? A: FAR 91.21 governs portable electronic devices. Use of a receiver is prohibited except for units which "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 ... the determination ... 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." In plain English, this means that on an airliner, the _airline_ must allow you to operate the radio -- the captain does not have the sole authority to authorize its use. On a private aircraft, the captain does have that authority. Note that amateur (ham) radio operators are forbidden by FCC regulations from transmitting on _any_ IFR flight.