US regulators aim to keep the ban on in-flight phone calls

US regulators aim to keep the ban on in-flight phone calls

US regulators aim to keep the ban on in-flight phone calls

Pai called the proposal "ill-conceived", adding that it was not in the best interest of the public who would rather have peace and quiet rather than listen to others chatter on their phones while taking to the skies. Terrorism, battery fires while in flight and other concerns surrounding US/UK air travel bans have all been hot topics.

Former FCC chairman voted 3-2 in 2013 to eventually allow phone use in airplanes.

The FCC adopted the ban in 1991 because of concerns that numerous cellphones on flights could jam ground-based relay stations as planes flew across the country. While it may be possible to make voice calls through an internet connection on a plane, the department said it was unaware of any carrier that allowed such calls.

If the proposal of Wheeler was approved, individual airlines would decide on how and when to install equipment in aircraft to support in-flight service.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reversing course on a years-long effort that would have allowed airline passengers to use their mobile phones for voice calls during flights. With Pai aiming to nix it completely, it sounds like cellphone usage while in flight, including data usage for web browsing and making voice calls, will continue to be banned. Apparently, pilots and flight attendants pushed back hard against the proposal, explaining that annoying phone calls would bother passengers and make it harder for them to do their jobs. In 2013 the FCC team led by Tom Wheeler, suggested for relaxing rules and after a 3-2 voting, FCC opened up the plan for public comment. The association of Flight Attendants - CWA welcomed the demise of the proposal with much delight.

The Department of Transportation said in December that the FCC might not have jurisdiction over in-flight calls if they are made via Wi-Fi, however, Fortune reported.

Currently, federal rules prohibit people from making calls while flying.

And Pai isn't opposed because of possible technical issues, but because of the potential annoyance factor to passengers.

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