FCC moves to allow cellphones on flights

The Federal Communications Commission will take-up a proposal to allow airline passengers to talk on their cellphones during flights.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a proposal Thursday to consider allowing passengers to use their phones above 10,000 feet. The proposal, scheduled for a vote on Dec. 12, would not allow cellphone use during take-offs or landings.

Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration scrapped its ban on the use of electronic devices during take-offs and landings. But the FCC has authority over the use of cellphones and other communications devices in the air. 

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"Modern technologies can deliver mobile services in the air safely and reliably, and the time is right to review our outdated and restrictive rules," Wheeler said in a statement. "I look forward to working closely with my colleagues, the FAA, and the airline industry on this review of new mobile opportunities for consumers.”

If the FCC moves ahead with the plan, it will still need to review comments from the FAA and the public before making a final decision.

Airlines would have to install special technology, which is already in use on certain international airlines, to allow passengers to place calls during flights. 

The FCC proposal would not force any airline to use the technology or allow in-flight calls.