In Flight Cell Phones

Posted on 11. Apr, 2007 by in Featured

Imagine hundreds of cell phone talkers yapping away as you fly across the continental United States. Six hours of ring tones going off, and the dreaded “LOUD CELL PHONE TALKER”. You know the people I’m talking about, they are the ones that can’t figure out that the cell phone is a very effective technology. They act as if it is a pair of tin cans with a string tied between it and requires an operator to scream into it. As if riding in that middle seat doesn’t suck enough.

No need to panic just yet. The FCC has pushed it back a couple of years due to interference concerns. The first step in flight test when adding any new electronic box is to ground test it for electronic interference. A test pilot fires up the aircraft and turns everything electronic on and checks for normal operation. Interference is a very real concern. It can cause navigational errors and prevent electronics from functioning; obviously not good when airborne in the clouds. Next is a flight test program, then the hard part, the paper work and certification process.

So, we are talking a couple of years. But make no mistake the in flight satellite cell phone is coming. American Airlines appears to be leading the industry in its development; again no need to get your ear plugs out just yet, or even when they get certified. While projected to be much cheaper than the old in flight phones per minute, they will still be too expensive for your average “chatty Cathy”. I do expect the business man/woman to embrace the new technology AND I would confiscate my teenage daughter’s phone before each flight.

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