FCC considers allowing in-flight calls as Department of Transportation considers banning them

FCC considers relaxing restrictions on in-flight calls as Department of Transportation considers banning them

The FCC may soon change their rules to allow passengers to make cellphone calls during flights, but they might still be banned if the Department of Transportation (USDOT) deems it necessary. While the FCC took steps yesterday that might allow cellphone use during flight, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that USDOT will consider using their power to ban calls through the FAA. However, if even in the FAA does ban calls, it doesn't really reverse any decision by the FCC, according to POLITICO:

Any regulation coming from the FAA wouldn’t overrule the FCC’s decision, which would deal solely with the technical question of whether it’s safe and feasible to allow cellphone use on airplanes.

The FCC's moves to loosen restrictions have been met with some resistance, with many customers, airlines, and lawmakers opposing passengers making calls. But the potential rule change would only say whether or not it's safe to make calls while a plane is in the air. This means that if calls are banned, people may still do things like surf the web, or send text messages. The commission says that in order to allow those things, they must investigate the safety of making calls during flights as well.

Secretary Foxx said that any move that the USDOT makes will be in the interest of consumers, as part of the department's role is consumer protection with regards to air travel. Both the FCC and USDOT Are asking the public, along with the airlines, to comment on any possible changes.

How would you feel about people making calls during flights? Let us know in the comments.


Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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There are 5 comments. Add yours.

dgbrock says:

GAWD NO! It's bad enough having to listen to everyone else's business in an elevator. Imagine 300 people yakking all at once about what they're going to have for dinner as soon as they land. Texting, okay, but keep it to yourself, folks!

Lt_Solorna says:

It's better that they allow the actual phone use for status updates to make sure the messages is out along with texting, only, not for regular conversations. This should be specifically mentioned in the update of the law.

websyndicate says:

its bad enough listening to yappers on the plane. So people can shut up I cant stand it.

davidbowser says:

No calls please. I am a frequent flyer, and as much as I would like to have a flying office, I don't. I don't want to listen to anyone else's business meetings anymore than they want to listen to mine. The language in some of my meetings gets salty, and that has no real place in a confined space.

And lets not get started with personal conversations. I imagine listening as a 3rd person to my half of a conversation talking to my wife about kids, work, groceries, school, yardwork, etc. That would be PAINFUL.

zdn1042 says:

If someone needs to contact somebody while they're still on the plane, please just do it by email/chat. Less noise, more rests for everybody.