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DOT may ban in-flight calls

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As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) told Congress on Thursday there is no longer a technical reason to ban in-flight voice calls on airliners, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced they will consider a ban on the use of cellphone conversations while in-flight.

The DOT is responsible for passenger safety, according to its 'Aviation Consumer Protection Authority.' Agency leaders will consider their own ban on cellphone calls, even though the FCC voted Thursday to lift their ban since cellphone signals have been shown not to interfere with aircraft communication systems.

There are a variety of agencies with jurisdiction over air passenger safety. The buzz began a month-and-a-half ago as the Federal Aviation Administration lifted the ban on portable electronic devices, which was quickly followed by the FCC seeking to lift the ban on voice calls while in-flight. Frequent fliers and airline crew members have shared sentiment that phone conversations in the confines of the cabin would be disruptive to travel.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee introduced legislation Thursday to ban in-flight cellphone communication and was joined by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein from California. Likewise, Republican House Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania introduced his own bill which bans in-flight voice calls but allows texting.

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