The FCC may have just saved your sanity while flying.
“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. 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 FCC first adopted the no-calls-on-planes policy back in 1991 because it was concerned a bunch of people making calls could interfere with aviation systems, USA Today says. But in 2013, the FCC started looking into whether voice calls could be safely made while in flight.
Pai's proposal just needs to be backed by two other FCC commissioners before the voice-call proposal is officially abandoned, Reuters notes.
(The Consumerist notes the decision of whether people "should" be allowed to talk on phones is actually up to the U.S. Department of Transportation – the FCC just looks at whether it would be safe to do so.)
And people seemed to be pretty happy with the idea they won't have to sit next to someone who's yakking on their phone for the entire flight.
It's worth nothing, the Department of Transportation said in December it's considering exploring whether it should allow people to make Wi-Fi calls on planes – a decision that has nothing to do with the FCC, Fortune reports.