The fastening of your seat belt use to be one of the major tasks flight attendants had to follow up on thoroughly before a flight
took off. Over the years the usage of cell phones before lift off has probably surpassed seat belt as the harder thing to contain. Well flight attendants might have some weight lifted off their shoulders as the FCC is considering allowing cell phone usage on commercial aircrafts.
The proposal being drafted by the FCC would allow airlines to install equipment on aircraft that could safely allow passengers to use their smartphones once the aircraft has reached cruising altitude. Usage would be limited to data only, sending and receiving phone calls would not be permitted.
The ban on phone conversations more than likely will be lifted if this initial proposal is agreed upon. Can we expect noisier flights in our near future?
The technology to allow cell phone use on flights is nothing new. In the US, usage has been banned since 1991 due to fear of possible interference to wireless networks on the ground. However for the past five years the same proposed technology, allowing on broad cell phone usage has been in use on flights out of Europe and Asia. The FCC believes it’s time the US lift its bans and allow airlines here to utilize the same technology.
Lifting the ban will not require airlines to install the on board technology. Additionally the equipment will only allow data services. Currently some carriers offer wifi service on flights but only laptops and tablets can utilize these services.