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Flight attendants urge FCC to oppose in-flight cell phone calls to maintain flight safety

13 Nov, 2015

The Association of Flight Attendants/CWA (AFA/CWA) met with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staff tooppose a proposal that would allow cell phone calls on airline flights. Representatives from the union of flight attendants argued that allowing in-flight cell phone calls would be disruptive, and enhance terrorist and cyber-warfare capabilities.


The FCC is considering a proposal to allow air-to-ground mobile broadband service over the contiguous United States. But the AFA, in a meeting with FCC staff, explained that moving forward with the proposal “would greatly enhance communications capabilities for terrorists and increase cyberwarfare vulnerabilities, leading to unacceptable risks of successful attacks on the United States aviation system with significant and foreseeable adverse human and economic consequences.”


The AFA has long fought this proposal, reiterating over and again the importance of relative quiet and tranquility to the safety of a flight. Two years ago the unionexplained: “Any situation that is loud, divisive, and possibly disruptive is not only unwelcome but also unsafe. Many polls and surveys conducted over the years find that a vast majority of the traveling public wants to keep the ban on voice calls in the aircraft cabin.”


And last year, in response to relaxed airline rules regarding in-flight use of portable electronic devices, AFA President Sara Nelsonreiterated the membership’s position: “As first responders and the last line of defense in our nation's aviation system, Flight Attendants remain strongly opposed to cell phone use in the aircraft cabin.”


Speed Matters supports the flight attendants and urges the FCC and airlines to put aircraft safety first.

AFA-CWA Notice of Ex Parte (FCC, Nov. 5, 2015)

 

Think you hate flying now? (Speed Matters, Nov. 24, 2013)

 

Flight attendants want all portable electronic devices stowed during takeoff and landing (Speed Matters, Oct. 15, 2014)


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