The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has formally banned a seven-year-old application to allow in-flight cellphone calls in U.S. airlines.
Seven years ago, in 2013, the former Chairman of the FCC Tom Wheeler said there are no technical reasons to ban such technology from operating. On the contrary, some facts would allow in-flight calls grounded on successful deployment in other countries.
The committee approved that they would consider allowing passengers to make mobile phone calls above 10000 feet but as the years passed nothing happened.
In 2016, the Department of Transportation started again with a new proposal which required airlines and ticket agents to inform the passengers in advance whether the airline operating their flight allows passengers to make voice calls using mobile wireless devices or not.
Customers have the right to know that does an airline permit voice calls or not before they buy a ticket and board the aircraft. “This proposal shall guarantee that air travelers are not unwillingly exposed to voice calls, as many of them are troubled over the idea of passengers talking on cell phones in flight,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx in a press conference.
Presently, the Federal Communications Commission’s rule has banned the use of mobile devices on certain in-flight radio frequencies while being on-board especially voice calls. Although, the current Federal Communications Commission rule does not include Wi-Fi, which may make voice calls possible.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai endorsed ending the proceeding by saying that he stands with “airline pilots, flight attendants, and America’s flying public against the FCC’s ill-conceived 2013 plan.” He continued that Taking this proposal off the table for good will be a victory for America.”
The FCC mentioned strong opposition from U.S. airline pilots and flight attendants in its decision, saying that the “record is insufficient to determine any reasonable solution that would strike an appropriate balance of competing interests.”