In a report monitored on Bloomberg, the U.S Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied approval for a proposal that would have allowed air passengers to make inflight voice calls using their smartphones. According to the report, Pilots and Flight Attendants were said to be “strongly opposed” to the idea.
In 2013, the FCC mooted a plan that would allow in-flight calls to take place above 3.05 km (about 10,000 feet) as obtainable in parts of Europe, but it resulted in a backlash by frequent flyers who envisioned their comfort will be affected by being forced to sit next to persons who make loud and long calls during trips. A critical segment of the US Congress also opposed the plan, insisting that if the proposal comes to effect, phone users in the middle of a flight could face air rage from other passengers on the same flight.
Furthermore, in 2017, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, hinted that the agency would not grant approval for the proposal. He said, “Taking it (the proposal) 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.”
Of course, in addition to keeping order in an aircraft, the restriction was in place to prevent mobile phones from interfering with the communications equipment and other gadgets used by pilots for flight controls, and navigation.
Also in 2017, Taylor Garland, spokesperson for the Association of Flight Attendants stated that “We are strongly against voice calls on planes.” A flight attendant in one of the Airlines stressed that it would be impossible for passengers on a flight to follow the flight attendant’s directions if the plane needed to be evacuated if calls were allowed on board.
While a passenger may not be able to send or receive calls in many commercial flights, some airlines like Jet Blue provide passengers with free Wi-Fi allowing them to send and receive text messages via an interface. (via)
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