A ban on mobile phone calls on US flights is likely to remain in place, as the Trump Administration signaled its opposition to lifting restrictions dating back to 1991.
In 2013, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed ending the federal ban and leaving it to airlines to decide whether to allow travellers to make mobile phone calls during flights.
The FCC opened the proposal to public comment but took no subsequent action, and now FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says he wants to see the plan dropped altogether.
“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 cellphone calls on planes,” said Pai.
“I do not believe that moving forward with this plan is in the public interest. Taking it 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.”
The three-member FCC regulatory panel must still formally vote on the plan, but Pai has one of those votes and another commissioner, Michael O’Rielly, also has signaled opposition, USA Today reported.
Some airlines, notably Delta, said they would not allow in-flight calls even if the ban was dropped by the FCC.