PHOTO: The interior of an Air India Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner. (photo via Flickr/Benson)
For travelers who hate the idea of other passengers making telephone calls during a flight, Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai announced that he is working to stop changes that would permit the calls.
According to Reuters.com, Pai said Monday that he is attempting to end the 2013 regulatory proceeding that would allow passengers on airlines in the United States to make phone calls during flights.
In order for the FCC to abandon the regulatory proposal, Pai needs the support of two other commissioners. If the previous proposal was passed, it would have allowed special equipment to be installed on planes to allow in-flight calls.
“I stand with airline pilots, flight attendants, and America’s flying public against the FCC’s ill-conceived 2013 plan to allow people to make cell phone calls on planes,” Pai told NBCNews.com. “I do not believe that moving forward with this plan is in the public interest.”
Many of the top airline industry groups and labor unions have voiced their displeasure with the idea of passengers making calls during flights due to the noise it would cause and the possible disturbances loud conversations would create.
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In December, the U.S. Transportation Department said it would consider permitting passengers to make in-flight calls via Wi-Fi, but the agency also said it was also taking input from experts regarding the pros and cons of banning voice calls on all U.S. flights.
In 2013, Pai's predecessor, Tom Wheeler, vouched for passengers being allowed to make calls during flights, but he believed the decision whether to allow the in-flight phone calls should be left to the individual airlines.