WASHINGTON — Those who in favor of keeping cell phone calls off planes are rejoicing with the recent vote by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
In December, the Federal Communications Commission had proposed to allow cell phone calls on planes. They cited increased technological advancements as the primary reason for supporting the proposal, and noted that the lifting of the current ban would not pose a threat to airline safety or operations.
After the FCC’s announcement was made, social media was filled with comments both supporting and opposing the measure. Those in opposition mainly cited the annoyance factor of having someone sitting next to them, or close by, talking loudly during the flight, while they are trying to relax or even sleep during the flight.
The bipartisan vote by the transportation and Infrastructure Committee , chaired by Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Penn., prohibits the use of cell phones for voice communications during the in-flight portion of any scheduled domestic commercial flight.
Shuster said, “This bill is simple. When it comes to cell phones on planes, tap, don’t talk.”
Rep. Peter DeFazio D-Ore., supported the bill and said, “Today’s passage will help preserve passenger sanity”.
There are exemptions from the ban for on-duty members of flight and cabin crews, and for federal law enforcement personnel acting in an official capacity.
Shuster said that the American public has made it very clear that they do not want to be subjected to annoying cell phones while on a plane.
He noted that keeping cell phone calls off planes will not restrict people from using their cell phone since passengers will still be able to use their cell phones for other activities.
That means that passengers can still stay in touch and communicate with others using social media.
Dina Titus, D-Nev., expressed confidence that the bill accurately reflected what Americans want when she said, “Congress has found one issue that all Americans support”.