Committee approves bill that would ban in-flight calls

Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) hailed the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s approval on Tuesday of a bill that would prohibit airplane passengers from talking on mobile phones during flights.

Petri, a senior member of the committee, is a cosponsor of the Prohibiting In-Flight Voice Communications on Mobile Wireless Devices Act.

The measure was introduced after the FCC announced that it would review the current ban on making calls in the cabins of commercial flights.

“This legislation is about as commonsense as you can get,” Petri said “The FCC is presently considering a rule to allow airlines to adopt policies allowing passengers to use their cell phones during flights. But just because it may be ‘safe’ to make calls during a flight, doesn’t mean it should be allowed.”

Petri said that polls have consistently shown most Americans are strongly opposed to allowing voice calls during flights.

“The idea of using tablets and other electronic devices would likely be welcomed by travelers, but the thought of listening to phone calls while trapped in a small space is not only unpleasant and unwanted, but could raise further concerns for air travel in the U.S.,” Petri said.

The measure would not pertain to on-duty flight crews, flight attendants and federal law enforcement officers.