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The gold colored version of the new iPhone 5S is seen after Apple Inc The gold colored version of the new iPhone 5S is seen after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam  

House one step closer to banning cell phone convos in flight

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

The House transportation committee has passed legislation that would ban passengers from talking on their cell phones while in flight.

Since the Federal Communications Commission moved to lift the ban on the use of cell phones in flight, lawmakers in both the House and Senate have introduced bills to preemptively ban travelers from vocal cell phone communications.

The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure passed Chairman Bill Shuster and Oregon Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio’s “Prohibiting In-Flight Voice Communications on Mobile Wireless Devices Act of 2013” by voice vote Tuesday. The bill would prohibit voice communications during the in flight portion of commercial flights for everyone except airline personnel acting in their official capacities.

“This bill is simple.  When it comes to cell phones on planes, tap, don’t talk,” Shuster said. “Airplane cabins are by nature noisy, crowded, and confined. In our day-to-day lives, when we find someone’s cell phone call to be too loud, too close, or too personal, we can just walk away. But at 30,000 feet, there’s nowhere else for an airline passenger to go.”

“The American public has made it overwhelmingly clear that they do not want to be subjected to annoying cell phone conversations while stuck on an airplane,” said DeFazio added.

A similar bill introduced by Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander in December is currently pending.

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