DOT Leaning Towards Blocking In-Flight Calls

Posted by at 10:44 am on August 4, 2014

The U.S. Department of Transportation is preparing the legal groundwork needed to ban airplane passengers from making cellular voice calls while in the air. The government is no longer worried about the safety of making such calls; rather, it is concerned about the potential for disruption among passengers.

The DOT said it is drafting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking it expects to publish in December. This document would officially state the Transportation Department’s objections to the idea of airplane travelers making cellular voice calls. The DOT would then open up the matter for comments for a period of time before making a final decision.

The FCC paved the way for allowing in-flight cellular calls in late 2013 when it decided the technical reasons for blocking such calls were no longer valid. Since the FCC dropped its objections, many in the public and the government have asked the practice to remain prohibited for the benefit of the traveling public’s peace of mind.

The DOT, and not the FCC, has final say over the matter.

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