FCC Launches Public Consultation into Rule Change on Inflight Cell Phone Usage

Regarding its proposal to lift the ban on cellphone usage in flight, the NPRM will allow 30 days for public comment, through February 14, 2014.


Geneva, 16 January 2014 – The Federal Communications Commission has formally published the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding its proposal to lift the ban on cellphone usage in flight. The NPRM allows 30 days for public comment, through February 14, 2014.  

“This rule change would give airlines the option to decide if they want to introduced inflight cell phone services in the US”, said Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir. “Airlines across the world already allow passengers to use their phones to tweet, text, email and talk. Over four and a half million people take up the option every year and there have been no reported complaints about disruption.”

Background information

Mobile OnAir, OnAir’s inflight GSM service, started flying in 2007. It is is currently flying with 18 airlines, including world-leading global airlines such as Aeroflot, British Airways, Emirates, All Nippon Airways, Qatar Airways, TAM and Singapore Airlines.

People typically use Mobile OnAir for email, social media and text messages. Voice calls make up about 10% of all usage and the average call length is under two minutes. The cabin crew and/or the pilot can turn off the voice element, or the entire system, at the push of a button.

About OnAir

OnAir sets the benchmark for global inflight connectivity solutions, with over 60 customers on five continents. We are the only provider to offer consistent global coverage, specifically designed for mobility, for both inflight cellular and Wi-Fi services, thanks to regulatory approvals from over 100 countries and more than 350 roaming agreements, and by using Inmarsat’s I4 satellite networks.

OnAir’s products enable passengers to use their own mobile phones, smartphones, tablets and laptops in exactly the same way as they do on the ground, either through the onboard cellular network or the onboard Wi-Fi hotspot. OnAir also provides on-demand entertainment content, such as music, videos, newspapers and magazines. The products are available as linefit or retrofit for all commercial aircraft, as well as government, VIP and business jets.

OnAir was incorporated in February 2005 and is owned by SITA, the leading IT solutions provider to the air transport world. OnAir is a member of the GSM Association and an Inmarsat Distribution Partner for both SBB and GX Aviation services.

More information about OnAir

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