Poll: 67% say ban cell phones inflight

On March 20th of 2006 http://Airlines.Ws started polling its highly targeted airline passenger based readers on whether Cell Phones should remain banned during flight.The polling lasted 45 days and had 1067 respondents with the following results:

Should Cell Phone usage be banned in Flight:
Yes 67%
No 33%

Cell Phones are already banned during the critical stages of flight , take offs and landings because of the possible risks associated with the radio interference of cell phones as well as other devices such as pagers, Palm Pilots/Blackberries, CD/MP3 players and laptops emitting RF signals.

The February 2006 Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) study that showed that:

“The risk posed by these portable devices is higher than previously believed. Radio frequency emitted from these devices can disrupt normal operation of key cockpit instruments, especially Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, which are increasingly vital for safe landings”, says Bill Strauss, one of the researchers .

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Documentation which shows the distinct possibility that cell phone interference resulted in the death of 10 passenger/crew members onboard a Crossair flight near Zurich, Switzerland in January 2000. Investigators found false readings given by aircraft instrumentation were later traced to the exact time of a text message received by a passenger.

The Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA)conducting PED studies since 1963, states cell phones “should be viewed as potentially hazardous and an unacceptable risk.” As of June 2005, “the FAA remains unconvinced that aircraft communication and navigation equipment can be adequately protected from onboard interference,” stated Nicholas Sabatini, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety.

Airline pilots continue to file incident reports documenting experiences with in-flight cell phone usage and wonder what impact they may be having with the pre-flight checklist.

Before any change in allowing cell phones in-flight both the FAA and FCC would need to lift their bans. The FCC has already voiced their opinion that they do intend to lift their ban. The FAA is still studying the issue and doesn’t expect to have those results until the end of 2006.

While this polling was based on a safety issue,
http://Airlines.Ws surprisingly enough (or not) received more emails from respondents that were far more concerned over how disruptive cell phone conversations would be for themselves and other passengers than they were about any safety issue .

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