FCC Still Opposes In-flight Cellphone Use

Business Jet Traveler » June 2007
Friday, June 1, 2007 - 5:00am

The Federal Communications Commission, still concerned about whether cellphone calls by aircraft passengers would interfere with the ground-based cell system, has dropped a longstanding proposal to relax the current ban. But this may not be the end of the story. So-called Wi-Fi smartphones for the consumer market are on the way, and unlike traditional cellphones, they use wireless Internet connections to route calls. While this may satisfy the FCC, manufacturers of smartphones would still have to prove to the FAA that the technology wouldn't interfere with aircraft electronics.

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““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”

-—actor and comedian Ricky Gervais