Travel | December 5, 2020 6:00 am

Thank the Heavens. The FCC Voted Against Letting People Make Calls on Flights.

It only took seven years

airplane cabin
Suhyeon Choi/Unsplash

The Federal Communications Commission terminated an order today that would’ve permitted airlines to “install equipment on aircraft that could safely expand the availability of in-flight mobile wireless services to passengers.” In other words: people won’t be able to make calls while flying on planes anytime soon.

The decision is a rare win for airlines in a brutal year. Few in the industry were pulling for this proposal to reach the finish line. In a statement, the FCC said, “There is strong opposition to the Commission’s proposals from many commenters in this proceeding, including our nation’s airline pilots and flight attendants, who argue that it fails to address significant safety and national security concerns.”

If this issue sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because it originally made headlines back in 2013. The crux of the debate was whether passengers should be allowed to talk on the phone once 10,000 feet or higher in the air, and the FCC took seven years to reach a verdict. But thankfully — for the airlines that would’ve had to pay for wireless equipment, the governmental employees tasked with keeping flights safe, and the ears on your head — this is the last we’ll have to think about this for a while.