Cell Phones Never Crash Airplanes


The Federal Communications Commission(FCC) and the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) have suggested that airlines not allow passengers to use mobile phones during commercial flights. The FAA fears that the RF signal effused by devices using the 800 MHz spectrum band may interfere the navigation systems of the plane, specifically GPS instrumentation. Yet there is no documented case of an air accident or significant malfunction caused by a cell phone’s interference with a plane’s navigation system.

The FCC’s concern is that wireless networks on the ground maybe distorted by the cell phones flying overhead. As a plane flies over a wireless cell tower on the ground, the FCC believes, the cell site will detect all phones operating inside the plane and register those devices to operate on the network. But by the time the tower registers and connects all those cell phones passing overhead, plane would have passed into the range of the next cell tower on its route. This uses up system resources and can hurt network performance of connected phones on the ground.

Some experts believe that this concern is outdated. Ken Biba the CTO of Novarum(a wireless consulting and engineering group) said.

Color me highly skeptical that this is a real problem with modern systems. Modern digital phones actually use lower power, and, further, the cell towers have very directional antennas designed for covering the surface of the earth [not the air above].



The Fix

The FCC and the FAA are doing us a big benefit here. They’re delivering us from having to fly with people chattering on their cell phones from takeoff to landing. It has been claimed that cell phones could possibly be allowed during the flights which could be a great news for all passengers.


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