FCC Chairman to End Plans to Allow In-Flight Cellphone Calls

iphone7 plus jetblack select 2016Full smartphone use on commercial flights will continue to be disallowed, according to a proposal issued today by United States Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. Pai wants to terminate 2013 proceedings that aimed to relax the rules prohibiting passengers from using their cellular phones for phone calls and data while in the air.

In a statement [PDF], Pai called the FCC's plan "ill-conceived" and said that tabling it permanently would be a "victory for Americans across the country."

"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. I do not believe that moving forward with this plan is in the public interest. 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."

Back in late 2013, The FCC announced plans to introduce a proposal that would allow passengers to use their cellular phones on airplanes during flight for making phone calls and browsing the web. The proposal went forward, despite protests from flight attendants, airlines, consumer groups, and pilots, leading the Department of Transportation to announce plans to consider banning calls if the FCC approved the measure.

Since then, the FCC has been investigating the safety of allowing cellphone service on planes, and the proposal has not moved forward. With Pai aiming to nix it completely, it sounds like cellphone usage while in flight, including data usage for web browsing and making voice calls, will continue to be banned.

Under the FCC's existing rules, which were updated in 2013, passengers can use personal devices like iPhones and iPads throughout their flights, but cellular service must be disabled through Airplane Mode.

Tag: FCC

Top Rated Comments

Floris Avatar
67 months ago
" 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"

That's great, when you spend $3500 extra for a business class seat and can't even continue your business on a 7 hour flight.

But let me guess, we can continue to use our credit card to make on flight calls using their system, how do we stay quiet, we mime?

And I am sure 1 person on earbuds talking is just as loud as two people sitting next to eachother talking.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
67 months ago
Good. Can you imagine sitting next to someone talking loudly on their phone the entire flight? Now multiply that across an entire plane.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zoomos Avatar
67 months ago
This has everything to do with money, it's the same with hotels with the cell jammer, they want you to use their services.

It's amazing how easily people can be convinced to side with big business over your right to use services you already paid for.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redscull Avatar
67 months ago
How can anyone come in here and support this? This isn't a ban on talking. It's not even a ban on phone calls. It's only a ban on using the cellular signal so that you'll buy wifi/phone service. If you're so concerned about obnoxious talkers, chime in when that's actually on the table.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Creek0512 Avatar
67 months ago
Pretty hilarious how many people here are buying into Pai's propaganda on this. This has nothing do do with people talking on their phone, and everything to do with protecting the monopoly the airlines currently have on in-flight internet access, which they would lose if you could access the internet through your cellular connection.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WordsmithMR Avatar
67 months ago
Yea. If I had to sit on a 2-3 hour flight with someone running their mouth on the phone the entire time I would jump off the plane.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
macOS Monterey 2

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.4 With Support for Studio Display Webcam Update

Monday May 16, 2022 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Monterey operating system that launched in October 2021. macOS Monterey 12.4 comes over two months after the launch of macOS Monterey 12.3, an update that added Universal Control. The ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Monterey‌‌ 12.4 update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
airpodsprodesign

Kuo: AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, and Other Apple Accessories Also to Switch to USB-C in Future

Sunday May 15, 2022 5:59 am PDT by
Earlier this week, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple plans to release at least one iPhone 15 model with a USB-C port in 2023. Now, in a follow-up tweet, he has claimed that accessories like AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack, and the Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad trio would also switch to USB-C in the "foreseeable future." Both the iPhone and all of the aforementioned...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Monday May 16, 2022 9:57 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5, the fifth major update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5 comes more than two months after the release of tvOS 15.4, an update that brought support for captive WiFi networks. tvOS 15.5 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple...