FCC Considers Lifting Ban on In-Flight Cellphone Calls
The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing its 22-year ban against in-flight cellphone calls, USA Today reports.
At its Dec. 12 meeting, the FCC will consider changing its rules to allow passengers access to mobile wireless services. The 1991 ban began because of concerns about jamming ground stations.
Abroad, phones are widely used on airlines for calls and data by essentially linking to a communication tower aboard the plane, which could satisfy FCC concerns about ground station interference.
While the FCC would collect public comment if the proposal moves forward, but opposition is already in ready supply, especially regarding the potential noise level increase on planes. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA strongly opposed the move, warning that calls would be disruptive, loud and division and possibly go beyond mere nuisance to hinder safety by drowning out announcements.