The Federal Communications Commission took the first step toward removing regulations that ban phone calls while in flight. But FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler emphasized that the Department of Transportation, which oversees the Federal Aviation Administration, will have the final say.
At the FCC’s monthly open meeting Thursday, the agency voted 3-2 to approve a measure that will open up for public comment a proposal that will lift the technical ban on in-flight cell phone use.
Speaking during FCC’s meeting, Wheeler emphasized that the decision to green-light cell phone use is not ultimately the FCC’s decision. He said the FCC will determine whether the technical ban is necessary and the DOT will handle what, if any, behavioral regulations are necessary. And ultimately, it will be up to the airlines whether they allow people to talk on their phones during flights.