Tags: fcc | cellphone | use | planes | ban

FCC Plan to Allow Cellphone Use on Planes Doesn't Fly

Image: FCC Plan to Allow Cellphone Use on Planes Doesn't Fly
(Vladimir Badaev/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 Apr 2017 09:01 AM

The Federal Communications Commission is backing away from a proposal that would have changed a ban on cellphone use on airplanes at high altitudes.

The updated cellphone proposal, which was introduced in 2013, would have allowed passengers to use their cellphones at cruising altitudes but shut them off during takeoffs and landings. FCC chairman Ajit Pai, though, said that he did not believe the proposal would serve the flying public, according to The Washington Post.

"Taking it off the table permanently will be a victory for Americans across the country who, like me, value a moment of quiet at 30,000 feet," Pai said, according to the Post.

According to Reuters, Pai added in a statement: "I stand with airline pilots, flight attendants, and America's flying public against the FCC's ill-conceived 2013 plan to allow people to make cellphone calls on planes. I do not believe that moving forward with this plan is in the public interest."

Tom Wheeler, who served as FCC chairman in 2013, said then that there was "no technical reasons to prohibit such technology to operate" but proposed leaving it to airlines whether to allow mobile phone calls, according to Reuters.

The FCC said at the time that special equipment could be installed on planes to allow in-flight calls. That technology had already been installed in other countries without incident, the FCC said.

But Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International president Sara Nelson cheered the decision by Pai against the cellphone use proposal.

"The FCC is making the right decision not to pursue lifting the ban on inflight calls," Nelson said in a statement on the union's website. "The traveling public and crew members do not want voice calls on planes.

"It would jeopardize safety, security, increase conflict and exponentially raise the annoyance level of everyone in the cabin. Now the (Department of Transportation) should follow the FCC's lead and ban voice calls inflight. That's the only sensible, safe and secure course of action," the statement continued.

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The Federal Communications Commission is backing away from a proposal that would have changed a ban on cellphone use on airplanes at high altitudes.
fcc, cellphone, use, planes, ban
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2017-01-11
Tuesday, 11 Apr 2017 09:01 AM
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