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FCC ends proceeding with no changes to in-flight mobile phone call ban

FCC ends proceeding with no changes to in-flight mobile phone call ban
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it has terminated proceedings launched in 2013 to consider allowing in-flight mobile phone calls without making any changes to the existing ban. 

The FCC’s order ending the proceedings, released Friday, cited “strong opposition” to the proposed changes from airline pilots and flight attendants who argued they would fail to address safety and national security concerns. 

“We find that, given the state of the record, it would not serve the public interest or be a wise use of the agency’s limited resources to continue to pursue this rulemaking proceeding,” the order stated. 

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In 2017, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (R) recommended ending the proceeding. He called the proposal, first circulated under his predecessor, Democrat Tom Wheeler, an “ill-conceived” plan. Wheeler stepped down in 2017.

The proposal would have relaxed FCC rules on using certain frequencies on aircrafts, allowing airlines to choose whether to enable mobile phone calls.

Pai formally announced Monday he will leave his position as chairman on Jan. 20, in line with FCC tradition when a new president is inaugurated.