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CEA Supports FCC’s Review Of In-Flight Cellphone Use

Arlington, Va. — Federal Communications Committee (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler’s decision to review increased consumer access to in-flight mobile wireless services has been greeted by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) support.

In a statement by CEA’s Julie Kearney, regulatory affairs VP, and Doug Johnson, technology policy VP, they said the organization is “pleased that the FCC is moving forward to review its rules relevant to the use of wireless devices on airplanes. We look forward to working with the commission on this pro-consumer, pro-innovation initiative as we seek to strike the critical balance between ensuring airline travel safety and allowing airline passengers to use their devices to stay connected, informed and entertained while on-board.”

The CEA statement cautioned that “any liberalization of the use of wireless devices on airplanes should not negate general common courtesies. Engaging in phone conversations in flight may prove technically feasible, but many may find it socially undesirable.”

CEA is urging airlines to “exercise good judgment. All stakeholders should work together to ensure that passengers continue to enjoy comfortable air travel, if voice communications are permitted. Given CEA’s past work in promoting mobile phone etiquette on the ground, we are ready to work with the technology community, airline industry consumer associations, and other interested parties to address the social issues related to voice communications in-flight if the FCC moves forward in this direction.”