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FCC Asked to Keep the Ban on In-Flight Voice Communications

By Admin

Sign the DeFazio-Grimm Letter to Oppose In-Flight Voice Communications 

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) I urge you to sign on to a bipartisan letter being led by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Michael Grimm (R-NY) to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler expressing opposition to lifting the ban that currently prohibits airline passengers from talking on personal cell phones while in-flight.

On December 12th, the FCC will consider whether to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would revise existing rules governing in-flight cell phone usage to allow passengers flying above 10,000 feet to talk on their wireless devices. Such a reversal of a long standing policy would make it more difficult for flight attendants to perform their jobs, cause disruptive noise levels in aircraft cabins, and create possible safety and security risks.

The FCC’s current policy has existed for more than two decades. Despite the rapid growth of technology over the last twenty years, recent surveys demonstrate that passengers still oppose the use of cell phones while in-flight, and for good reason. Excessive noise in the cabin would be disruptive to passengers’ experience especially those anticipating peace and quiet. It would also strain flight attendants’ ability to perform their normal duties when their attention is diverted to monitoring phone conversations and settling disputes when passengers become irritated by the volume or content of a call.

Furthermore, passengers engrossed in phone calls are likely to miss important safety information provided both from the cockpit and by flight attendants. The use of cell phones while in-flight also may pose unintended security risks. Terrorists aboard a single or multiple aircrafts could use the new capability to communicate with each other about the movement or vulnerability of crewmembers or to launch a coordinate attack.

To support the safety and security of our aviation system and to represent the view held by a majority of Americans, we urge you to sign the bipartisan DeFazio-Grimm letter to ask Chairman Wheeler to reject any proposal that would allow passengers to talk on their phones while in-flight.

To sign on to this letter, please contact Michael Hayes with Congressman DeFazio at or 5-6416. The deadline to sign on is December 11th.

Edward Wytkind

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