FCC chairman says airlines have final say on calls


The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission says even he isn’t a fan of phone calls on planes.

A day after setting off a uproar among airline passengers by saying the government might permit cellphone calls above 10,000 feet, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is clarifying his position Friday.

Wheeler says the agency’s proposal recognizes that there is no technical reason to prohibit the use of mobile devices. Even so, Wheeler says he sympathizes with travelers who prefer no voice calls on planes, saying he feels the same way.

It will ultimately be up to individual airlines to decide if they want to allow calls or not, Wheeler says. Most airlines have said they would study the issue and survey their customers.

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