×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

FCC Chairman Hopes to Nix Idea of Allowing In-Flight Cell Phone Use

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is recommending that the agency abandon a proposal that could have cleared the way for passengers to use their cell phones while planes are in flight.

The proposal from 2013 would have left it up to the airlines to decide whether to permit the use of data, text, and voice services while planes are in the air, as long as they complied with FAA rules. But it triggered a backlash from flight attendants and pilots, who argued that cell phone use during flights would create a disruption.

“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 said. “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.”

At the time the proposal was introduced, the FCC said that it was technical in nature, as it would be left up to each airline to make the decision.

“The proposal provides the means for the airlines to decide whether to provide capability to access mobile wireless services and whether to limit such service to data and not voice calls,” the FCC said that year. “The Commission’s effort is purely technology-based, and by default, unless an airline takes affirmative steps, the use of cell phones would continue to be prohibited.”

The rationale for changing the rules was that technology could be installed on planes to prevent interference, something that has been done on airlines in other countries. But according to the FAA, the FCC’s rules do not cover the use of Wi-Fi, available on many flights, to make voice calls. The FAA in December began taking comments from the public on a proposal that would require that an airline disclose whether such voice calls are allowed, or whether there should be a blanket ban on voice calls on flights in and out of the United States.

More Biz

  • Andrea Ganis Promoted to President of

    Andrea Ganis Promoted to President of Promotion for Atlantic Records

    Andrea Ganis has been promoted to the newly created position of president of promotion for Atlantic Records, it was announced today by Atlantic Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald and Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. In her new role, she will continue to oversee all promotion activities for Atlantic and its subsidiary labels while serving on [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    Netflix in Advanced Talks to Join Motion Picture Association of America

    WASHINGTON — Netflix is in advanced talks to join the Motion Picture Association of America, a move that would reflect its evolution as a major player in the movie business. The MPAA currently has six major studios as members, each paying annual dues between $15 million to $20 million per year. But it faces the [...]

  • Fate of 'Simpsons' Up in Air

    What Will Happen to 'The Simpsons’ as Disney Takes Over Fox?

    When “The Simpsons” ends its 30th and current season this spring, it will have racked up 663 original episodes — having a season ago passed “Gunsmoke” (635) as the longest-running scripted program in television history. But with the Walt Disney Co.’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox pending, one of TV’s least likely institutions could prove more [...]

  • Best Worst Performances Pink

    Pink, Muse, Chris Stapleton to Headline Citi Sound Vault During Grammy Week

    Pink, Muse and Chris Stapleton will headline Citi Sound Vault, the three-night live-music platform taking place at the Hollywood Palladium during Grammy week. Pink will kick off the Live Nation-produced series on Feb. 7, followed by Muse on Feb. 9 and Stapleton on Grammy night, the 10th. “This will be my first time performing at the [...]

  • China’s Maoyan Tweaks Terms for $350

    China’s Maoyan Tweaks Terms of $350 Million IPO

    Maoyan Entertainment, the Chinese ticketing giant, has updated the terms of its share offer in order to keep its IPO on course. It aims to raise up to $350 million of new cash by floating on the Hong Kong stock market. In a new draft prospectus published Tuesday, the company revealed that it had brought [...]

  • 76th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS --

    Tyler Perry: 6 Lessons He Shared at NATPE's 'Living the Dream' Summit

    MIAMI — Tyler Perry took time out of his “Madea’s Farewell” live stage tour and spent his Martin Luther King Jr. holiday giving an inspiring speech to aspiring producers and students gathered here for the annual NATPE convention. Perry was the keynoter Monday at the conference’s first ever “Living the Dream: A Career in Content” session [...]

  • FILE - In this Jan. 12,

    How to Watch the Patriots vs. Chiefs - AFC Championship

    The conference championships are set to take place Sunday, Jan. 20 ahead of Feb. 3’s Super Bowl LIII, with the top two teams in each the AFC and NFC conferences going head to head. The second game, the New England Patriots against the Kansas City Chiefs, is set to begin at 6:40 p.m. ET at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content