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Cellphone calls on planes? Don't ask the feds

Published February 21, 2014 2:03 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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.