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Report Bashes American Laws against Cell Phones on Planes

Date: 1/24/2008 12:44:47 PM

America’s ongoing refusal to allow the use of mobile phones on passenger airlines simply doesn’t make sense, according to a recent report by Freesky Research.

Businesspeople in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe are able to be far more productive on commercial airlines than U.S. passengers, who are required by law to turn off their cell phones and other wireless devices before takeoff. The FCC considered revisiting these regulations last year, but ultimately decided not to make changes, citing concerns that mobile phones could interfere with radio communications technology on planes.

Research and empirical evidence over the past five years, however, has consistently debunked these concerns, with hundreds of wirelessequipped passenger planes now flying each day without incident. The European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency formally approved an airtoground cellular communications system called OnAir last year.

“As long as the United States maintains its current policy banning cellular antennas from being used on jets, it is allowing other countries to leap ahead with inflight productivity, while facing mounting evidence that there is no safety benefit to passengers,” commented Freesky’s chief analyst, David Gross, in a statement.

Anticell phone laws on American (and Canadian) airlines can also be used to persecute people who simply use a device with wireless capabilities while flying, even if they are not making or receiving a call. This became evident last year when one passenger was arrested after using an Apple iPhone to listen to music aboard an ATA Airlines flight to Hawaii.

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