Markey Urges Caution, Consultation On Phone Calls on Airplanes


Contact: Eben BurnhamSnyder (Markey) 2022242742

Playing "Words with Friends" different than having "conversations with friends" says Senator; Asks FCC to consult with flight attendants, pilots, airline industry to review current  rules


WASHINGTON (November 22, 2013) - Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), today expressed concerns about allowing inflight use of cell phones to make voice calls following the FCC's announced review of rules governing the use of spectrum for inflight mobile wireless services. Senator Markey called on the FCC to work closely with the Federal Aviation Administration, flight attendants, pilots, the airline industry and consumer groups in reviewing the current rules for the use of cell phones while airborne.


"Playing 'Words with Friends' is different than passengers having lengthy, loud 'conversations with friends' while in the tight, inescapable confines of an airline passenger cabin," said Senator Markey. "Consumers could benefit from access to email, texts, and related functions of their phones while in flight, but it's clear that many have concerns about the atmosphere in airline cabins if unfettered phone conversations were permitted."


"The FCC should work closely with the flight attendants and pilots who serve the passengers as well as consumers, airlines, and the FAA in updating these policies. Any new policy should reflect not just advances in technology, but also the effects on aviation safety, security, and comfort that could emerge if voice calls are widely permitted on airplanes."