The FCC has announced that the current rule banning cell phone usage during flight will remain in effect until possible "future consideration."


This decision, seemingly an easy one, is unquestionably the right policy. The primary argument for allowing wireless phones on commercial flights during air travel is grounded in a "pro-business" argument. The only business that would have benefited from this rule, however, is the wireless communications industry.


Accomplishing business tasks on the plane, however, already difficult due to cramped seats and the occasional unhappy baby, would have been substantially more challenging. While the din of the engines and the occasional sneeze obviously do not create the most pristine working environment, such sounds are “natural” in nature. A 20 minute cell phone conversation between your seatmate and his wife about what they plan to have for dinner, however, is not a “natural” sound of traveling. Furthermore, similarly irrelevant conversations are much more likely to prevail in comparison to the short “necessary” calls that would potentially be made by conscious cellular users.


Bottom Line: In the end, the Federal Communications Commission based their decision on the potential interference with airplane operations. Whether based on the technical concerns or the social concerns, the FCC made the right decision by precluding the use of wireless phones on flights.

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