Do you remember when Alec Baldwin was kicked off his flight for refusing to stop playing Words with Friends? That was a whole year ago, before the iPad mini, before support for 4G LTE, before the AX6 processor chip. Now, people want to be connected to their technology more than ever. After all, we are paying for it. The airline industry knows this and has slowly been working on ways to let us use our technology during flights.
Previously, you couldn’t even turn your phone on during a flight. These days, many airlines offer in-flight wi-fi and all airlines let you at least turn on your electronic devices after takeoff and before landing.
Now, the head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is promising to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to find a way to let you stay connected through every moment of flight.
According to The Hill, FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, sent a letter to the acting administrator of the FAA, Michael Huerta, to allow for a broader use of electronic devices during flights.
“This review comes at a time of tremendous innovation, as mobile devices are increasingly interwoven in our daily lives,” Genachowski wrote. “They empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family, and they enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness.”
The FAA has been considering allowing in-flight use of cell phones since 2004, but there has yet to be an informative report to determine whether it would interfere with wireless networks on the ground.
This summer, the FAA created a study group to review policies and guidelines of in-flight use of mobile electronic devices. Although the government agency has lifted many of its bans, voice communication during flight is still off the table. Honestly, that may be for the best. Imagine 200 people talking to their friends on a cell phone for four hours. Don’t think that wouldn’t happen eventually, too. It would.