US regulators aim to keep the ban on in-flight phone calls

NEW YORK — Federal regulators aim to maintain the ban on in-flight cellular calls.

The Federal Communications Commission is looking to kill an effort it started in 2013 to give airlines the option of installing on-board cellular equipment for calls and other services.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai appears to have enough votes to axe that plan, which he considers "ill-conceived." Pei says keeping the cellular ban "will be a victory for Americans across the country who, like me, value a moment of quiet at 30,000 feet."

Though telecom industry groups have supported lifting the ban, polls have shown that many passengers, particularly frequent fliers, oppose allowing cellphone calls by passengers.

The move wouldn't affect current rules that let passengers use their gadgets during flights, though with cellular connections turned off.

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