November 18, 2016–The Department of Transportation is ready to release an often-delayed notice of proposed rulemaking concerning the use of cellphones for voice calls during flight. The item has been scheduled for release multiple times, but was delayed. The item is projected for publication tomorrow, according to a DoT update. In 2014, DoT released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking views on whether it should ban wireless device calls on airplanes (TRDaily, March 4, 2014).
In 2015, a DoT advisory committee recommended that the agency leave it up to airlines to decide whether to permit passengers to use their wireless devices for voice calls during flight (TRDaily, Sept. 2, 2015). The DoT rulemaking was launched in the wake of a controversial NPRM adopted by the FCC in 2013 that proposed permitting airlines to allow passengers to use devices for voice communications above 10,000 feet (TRDaily, Dec. 12, 2013).