Remember that whole “cell phones on planes” idea? Yeah, you can forget about that, at least in the US. It came out a few days ago that the FCC will not allow cell phones to be used on airplanes at this time.
FCC? I mean FAA, right? Nope, I mean FCC, the Federal Communications Commission.
See, the FCC isn’t concerned about airplanes crashing into the ground because you flipped on your cell phone. They’re concerned about the impact of connecting to cell towers while hurtling through the air at 500 mph. Apparently, they’re not comfortable that there won’t be an impact on the ground-based networks, so they’re considering the case closed for now. Does this mean that if you’d like to protest outrageous FCC censorship rules, you should flip on your cell phone in protest while flying over Montana? Probably not the best idea. If you’d like to read more, Aviation Views has a couple links worth visiting.
I’m personally happy with the ruling on a completely selfish level. I don’t like the idea of a cabin full of people screaming “Can you hear me now?” into their phones all flight long. Sure text messaging would be nice, but once they have internet access up and running again on airplanes, people will forget about cell phone use (I hope).