News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMine9-11flight93-ua — Viewing Item

Cell phones typically dont work above 10 000 feet

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Cell phones may be ringing for airlines

COX NEWS SERVICE - Buckle your seat belts. Place those tray tables in the upright and locked position. But don't bother to put away that cell phone.
In what is both a dream and nightmare for air travelers, federal regulators plan to begin considering rules today that would allow the use of wireless phones and other gadgets above the clouds.
The government for decades has banned using cell phones and other devices that deliberately emit radio signals on U.S. commercial flights, a precaution against potentially dangerous interference with a plane's communications and electronics.

The rules have made airline cabins one of the last bastions of cell phone freedom. However, new technology and demand from electronically connected consumers means that in a few years, passengers could be flying the chatty skies.
Most airlines allow cell phone use when a plane is on the ground or at an airport gate. Except for illegal wireless calls some passengers make at low altitudes, air-to-ground communications are restricted to unpopular seat-back handsets charging $1.99 per minute or more.
"If the consumer is limited to using the devices provided only by the airline, it limits their options," said John Muleta, the wireless bureau chief for the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC plans to seek comment on relaxing its airborne wireless rules, which date from the mid-1980s and the dawn of the cell phone era. At the time, technology for coping with interference was less sophisticated, and the gaggle of wireless consumer devices didn't exist.
"We're so used to being in touch these days at all times," said David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, a Washington advocacy group.
He said the benefits of having cell phones, laptops with wireless Internet and two-way e-mail devices will outweigh inevitable annoyances in the sky.
Not everyone agrees.
"Can you imagine sitting next to a woman who is screaming about her ulcer to her Aunt Molly in Detroit for four hours?" said Barbara Pachter, a New Jersey corporate etiquette trainer and author of "The Jerk With the Cell Phone: A Survival Guide for the Rest of Us."
Ms. Pachter said polite and respectful behavior could make cell phones in the sky tolerable, but the reality probably will be overly loud ringers and voices, creating the potential for "cell phone rage."
Airlines will have to establish passenger cell phone etiquette if the ban is lifted, said Jack Evans, spokesman for the Air Transport Association, an airline industry group.
Cell phones typically don't work above 10,000 feet. That hasn't stopped some people at lower altitudes from making surreptitious calls from plane bathrooms and typing on e-mail devices below tray tables.
Airborne wireless calls grabbed public attention in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks when some passengers and crew on the hijacked planes used their phones to call authorities and loved ones.
Airlines in the economically troubled industry, sensing a potentially lucrative new service, have been testing technology that allows wireless devices to work throughout a flight.
In July, American Airlines and wireless equipment maker Qualcomm Inc. demonstrated a system that let passengers on a commercial plane make cell phone calls and send text messages during a two-hour trip. The system used a "picocell," a kind of miniature airborne cell tower that relayed calls through a satellite link to the phone network on the ground.
American Airlines officials said the technology is two years away from commercial application. It also would require changes in the FCC and Federal Aviation Administration regulations that ban cell phone use in flight.
Closer to reality is high-speed Internet service in the air sent over the same airwaves used by the air-to-ground seat-back phones. The FCC is expected to approve rules that promote competition for that service in a separate ruling today.
But many hurdles remain before passengers will be able to use the phones. The overhaul of inconsistent regulations overseen by two federal agencies and individual airlines shaping their own wireless policies could take years.

Banned knife found in flight93 wreckage { March 22 2002 }
Cell phone tower sites 2 3 kilometers apart [pdf]
Cell phones dont work above 10k feet { April 8 2005 }
Cell phones dont work high altitudes
Cell phones typically dont work above 10 000 feet
Cell towers cover 10 sq miles [pdf]
Cell towers outside range of airline cruising altitude
Cell towers range 10 sq miles
Cheney ordered shot down { January 25 2003 }
Company tests new system cell phones in flight
Debris appears miles from crash site { September 13 2001 }
Fbi refused flight93 tape
Federal officials reinforce story of 911 passenger heros { June 5 2004 }
Flight 93 headed towards johnstown airport { September 13 2001 }
Flight 93 heros inspire neil young song { December 16 2001 }
Flight 93 norad tapes released
Flight 93 requests clearance to washington { September 11 2001 }
Flight 93 was shot down claims book
Flight93 debris 8miles
Flight93 mystery { November 15 2001 }
Flight93 shot down { September 14 2001 }
How cell phones work [pdf]
Imporable truth
Most passengers from flight 93 used cell phones
New fbi view flight93
New study sells dont try cell phones on plane { March 3 2006 }
New systems allow cell phones during flight { June 15 2005 }
Passengers expect to use cell phones after 911 { June 9 2005 }
Pentagon video release to rest conspiracy theories { May 16 2006 }
Prepared to order aircraft shoot down
Report says hijackers ordered crash
Riddle hijacked get crash site
Rumsfeld says flight 93 shot down { December 27 2004 }
Seismologist discrepancy
Shoot down flight 93
Somebody asked faa for new flight plan
Victim husband says pentagon video shows nothing { May 17 2006 }

Files Listed: 37


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple