FCC Chairman Moves to Stop Plan to Allow In-Flight Calls

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The Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai moved Monday to reverse efforts to allow the use of cellphones while on planes. 

“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 plane,” said Pai in a statement. “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.”

A 2013 regulatory proceeding had sought to lift the ban on the use of mobile phones on U.S. airlines. In 2013, the FCC under then chairman Tom Wheeler said special equipment could be installed on planes to allow in-flight calls.

This decision was met with resistance from people peeved by the prospect of listening to annoying phone calls while on planes.