In-Flight Cell Phone Calls Won’t Be Legal Any Time Soon

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Federal Communications Commission Chairman (FCC) Ajit Pai said cellphone calls will continue to be forbidden on airline flights, ending any consideration to lift the ban.

“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,” Pai announced Monday, according to multiple reports. “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.”

Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler introduced the proposal in 2013.

“Modern technologies can deliver mobile services in the air safely and reliably, and the time is right to review our outdated and restrictive rules,” Wheeler wrote in an official press release.

Wheeler ordered the review to research the “technical feasibility of the use of mobile devices in flight.”

Pai doesn’t appear too concerned about the “technical feasibility.” He instead ended the proposed rule-making due to comfortability issues. (RELATED: US Bans Passengers Of Middle Eastern Airlines From Bringing Electronics On Plane)


“Like most Americans, I fly coach. Each year, the seats feel a little smaller, and my legs get a little more cramped,” Pai wrote in a dissenting statement to Wheeler’s proposal in December of 2013. “Although I’m pretty sure that I could resist the urge to stab a fellow passenger, I understand these sentiments and share these concerns. Like most Americans, I don’t want people making phone calls on planes,” Pai concluded, addressing satirical public comments he received about the policy. (RELATED: America’s Favorite Cell Phone Perk Is Coming Back, FCC Head Says, Because Of Obama Regs Roll-Back)

Wheeler’s proposal suffered such a heavy backlash that it was never ultimately implemented. The proposal is now officially tossed.

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