Oops, The FCC Is Reversing The Proposal To Allow Passengers To Use Cellphones During US Flights
The FCC is withdrawing a proposal that would allow air travelers to use their phones during a flight. According to reports, the agency is scrapping the plan over concerns of flight interference.
Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler introduced the proposal in 2013. Its aim was to roll back a regulation that bans the use of mobile phones in flights.
Federal Regulators argued that cellular signals have the potential to interfere with pilot radios in the past. However, new advances in aviation safety have since minimized those concerns. Wheeler wanted to lift the ban because he thinks that the policy is already outdated by today's technology.
Under his proposal, passengers are still required to keep their phones turned off during takeoff and landing. Moreover, they are only allowed to use their phones when the airplane has removed the fasten your seatbelt sign.
The decision came from Ajit Pai, the current chairman of the FCC and Wheeler's successor. According to NBC. Pai called the plan "ill-conceived." He added that he does not believe that it served the interest of the public.
In his statement taken from The Washington Post, Pai said that "Taking it off the table" will be a victory for the USA. He also stated that people who "value a moment of quiet at 30,000 feet" would appreciate the ban on cellphones.
Wheeler's proposal was met with public backlash after opponents argued of its possible consequences. They believed that the relaxation of the ban would result in passengers disturbing one another. The former FCC chief was forced to abandon the issue during until the end of his service.
When asks for their opinion the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA welcomed the news. The group's spokesman Taylor Garland said that the decision echoed the sentiments of crew members that do want to have voice calls on the flight.