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Mexico Lifts Ban on In-flight Cell Phone Use

Mexico Lifts Ban on In-flight Cell Phone Use

Photo: Simon Grubb/Flickr (CC)

Michael Barkoviak/DailyTech

The U.S. still prohibits the use of mobile phones during flights, but Mexico and other nations are re-thinking similar rules.

Citing the use of new technology, using mobile phones and other electronics immediately after take off and prior to landing no longer interferes with the cockpit’s navigation system.  The Mexican Communications and Transportation Department decided to lift the eight-year-old ban after discussing the topic with flight safety experts, engineers, pilots and flight crews, and passengers.

It’s still illegal to use phones while in-flight on all U.S. flights, but the European Union and other nations have lifted the ban.  Furthermore, some airlines, including Malaysia Airlines, now offer services that give passengers the ability to receive and make calls from their phones.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials said lifting the ban is a topic they’re actively discussing, but warn passengers they shouldn’t get their hopes up any time soon.

Politicians who supported the “Halting Airplane Noise to Give Us Peace Act” said that even though they are against voice communication while in the air, the growing ability to use the Internet means voice chatter is inevitable.

“The public doesn’t want to be ”nofollow" href=“http://www.defazio.house.gov/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=380”>subjected to people talking on their cell phones on an already overpacked airplane," according to Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who was a strong supporter of the bill.  “However, with internet access just around the corner on U.S. flights, it won’t be long before the ban on voice communications on in-flight planes is lifted.”

_© 2009, DailyTech


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