DOT asks public for insight on in-flight cell use

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The Transportation Department is seeking public comment for a ban on cellphone calls for passengers on airplanes, according to a Feb. 14 statement.

The proposed rule comes after the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 in December 2013 to consider lifting its ban on in-flight cellphone use.

“This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will give stakeholders and the public significant opportunity to share their comments,” said Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx in the Feb. 14 statement. “We will continue to work with the Federal Communications Commission as we carry out our respective responsibilities regarding this important issue.”

The appeal for comment is intended to address concerns about the issue raised by airlines, flight attendants and members of Congress, according to the statement.

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., introduced in December 2013 a bill that would prohibit in-flight calls.

“If passengers are going to be forced to listen to the gossip in the aisle seat, it’s going to make for a very long flight,” Shuster said in a statement. “For those few hours in the air with 150 other people, it’s just common sense that we all keep our personal lives to ourselves and stay off the phone.”

The bill passed the House Transportation Committee on Feb. 11.

An Associated Press-GfK poll released in December found 48 percent of respondents opposed calls while flying, and only 19 percent supported it.

Additionally, among those who fly, 59 percent opposed in-flight calls.

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Anthony Foxx, Bill Shuster, Department of Transportation, Departments, mobile and wireless, mobility, Tech
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