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

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

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is moving to maintain a ban on use of cellular phones for mobile calls during flights.

In 2013, the then FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, had proposed allowing voice calls in flight based on that logic.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai appears to have enough votes to axe that plan, which he considers "ill-conceived". Most people who ride on planes actually look forward to that rare moment of peace and quiet (well except if there are chattering passengers or crying babies of course) in between the take off and landing.

"The FCC is making the right decision by not lifting the ban on in-flight calls", said the labor union spokesman, Taylor Garland.

The FCC banned mobile phones when they were a new technology, "out of concern that the signals might interfere with aviation systems or networks on the ground", explains Consumerist.

While you can now use WiFi to check your email, play games, go online, or watch a movie on a plane, you generally still can't use it to make a phone call.

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She said they had to wait four hours to get to the ticket counter to check bags, two hours after their flight had left. Other customers online joked that renting a auto would be faster than traveling with the airline.

While there may not be any technical interference caused by cell phone usage, public opinion on the possibility of making calls on planes is not favorable.

In a 2014 analysis about inflight calling, the travel industry site Skift noted that providers of inflight Wi-Fi services such as OnAir can already enable voice calling, but airlines can choose to disable voice services.

Several government officials and lawmakers were in favor of additional bans and restrictions that would have prevented in-flight calls even if the FCC ban was eliminated.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed it is ready to scrap plans that would have allowed users to forgo those flight safe smartphone warnings and use their handsets at 30,000ft. He is proposing to terminate the proposal to lift the ban on phone calls during flight.

"Consumers deserve to have clear and accurate information about whether an airline permits voice calls before they purchase a ticket and board the aircraft", US secretary of transportation Anthony Foxx said in a statement at the time.

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