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FCC Considers Allowing Cell Phone Calls on Planes

A flight attendants union says it could jeopardize safety


many hands holding up generic cell phones
Source: Flickr
Airplanes could soon cease to be a refuge from people incessantly talking on their cell phones.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has drafted a proposal that would permit travelers to use their cellphones to send data and make phone calls when aircraft are flying above 10,000 feet. The FCC indicated that the idea was driven by “increased consumer demand” to use mobile devices while in the air, the Daily News notes.

Relaxing restrictions on in-air cell phone use will be debated at the FCC’s Dec. 12 meeting. The agency’s chairman — a former cellular industry lobbyist — called current restrictions “outdated and restrictive.”

However, not everyone is eager to see cell phone use approved during flights. A union representing flight attendants criticized the proposal, saying that “maintaining a calm cabin environment” was important for aviation safety, and suggesting that anything that could disrupt that “is not only unwelcome but unsafe.”

Earlier this year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) moved to relax restrictions on the use of electronic devices during airplane flights.

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