To be clear, this isn't about using your mobile devices while in the sky - it's strictly about talking on them during phone or VOIP calls while you're flying. Calling the plan "ill-conceived", Pai said in a statement that he did not believe it served the public interest. Advances in technology have eliminated those concerns, but tech hasn't changed the fact that in-flight phone calls could be annoying to fellow passengers.
Ajit Pai, Chairman of U.S Federal Communications Commission, delivers his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 28, 2017. "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".
Using phones for texting and Internet use will still be allowed.
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According to the FCC, the public overwhelmingly did not support the proposal.
The agency will vote on the new proposal, but Pai, as well as Republican commissioner Michael O'Rielly, voted against the 2013 proposal, making it likely the measure will succeed. But critics, including then-Transporation Secretary Anthony Foxx, noted the annoyance that phone conversations might pose to other passengers. The proposal went forward, despite protests from flight attendants, airlines, consumer groups, and pilots, leading the Department of Transportation to announce plans to consider banning calls if the FCC approved the measure.
A few years ago, the government began considering allowing cellphone calls in-flight.