Cellphone calls on planes? Don’t ask the feds
Published: February 21, 2014 02:03PM
Updated: February 21, 2014 01:12PM
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FILE - This Oct. 31, 2013 file photo shows a plane passenger checking her cell phone before a flight in Boston. While one government agency considers allowing cellphone calls on passenger planes, another now wants to ban them. The Transportation Department signals that it wants to impose a ban on inflight cellphone calls, just two months after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to pursue lifting the current ban. The FCC regulates wireless communications, while the transportation department regulates issues affecting airline passengers. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Washington • The government can’t seem to make up its mind about whether people should be allowed to make cellphone calls on passenger planes. Even as one federal agency considers allowing the calls, another now wants to make sure that doesn’t happen.

The Department of Transportation signaled in a 22-page notice posted online Friday that it wants to retain a ban on inflight calls. The notice comes just two months after the Federal Communications Commission voted to pursue lifting the ban.

Transportation regulates aviation consumer issues. The FCC has responsibility over whether the use of cellphones inflight would interfere with cellular networks on the ground.

Congress is also getting into the act. Lawmakers are pushing legislation to require transportation regulators to implement a ban on the calls.