Alexander, Feinstein Introduce Legislation To Stop Airplane Cell Phone Conversations

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Senator Lamar Alexander on Thursday introduced legislation to prohibit cell phone conversations on commercial airline flights, a possibility the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to consider today.

“Keeping phone conversations private on commercial flights may not be enshrined in the Constitution, but it is certainly enshrined in common sense,” Senator Alexander said. “This legislation is about avoiding something nobody wants: nearly two million passengers a day, hurtling through space, trapped in 17-inch-wide seats, yapping their innermost thoughts.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.), an original cosponsor of the legislation, said, “Flying on a commercial airline—in a confined space, often for many hours—is a unique travel experience that is, candidly, not conducive to numerous passengers talking on cell phones.  This bill recognizes the use of cell phones to make calls during flights can be disruptive and irritating to other passengers and would prevent such communications during domestic flights.  The bill, however, would not affect the ability to communicate via text and email during a flight.”

The legislation, the Commercial Flight Courtesy Act, would prohibit the use of voice communication through cell phones on regularly scheduled commercial flights, after the Federal Communications Commission announced it is exploring what type of cell phone use is safe on airplanes. It would allow the use of cell phones for texting and other electronic communication, if the FCC were to approve such communications. It would also allow the use of personal electronic devices such as Kindles and iPads during flight, which the Federal Aviation Administration recently approved.

The FCC is scheduled to hold a public meeting this afternoon on a possible rule change approving the use of such technology on airplanes, a step it has acknowledged would “open the door” to approved cell phone conversations on flights. Alexander’s legislation mirrors current regulation. It only applies to commercial airlines, not private charter flights or foreign carriers, unless the latter is flying between U.S. airports. It exempts federal air marshals and flight crews for official business.

Senator Alexander said, “When you stop and think about what we hear now in airport lobbies – babbling about last night’s love life, next week’s schedule, arguments with spouses – it’s not hard to see why the FCC shouldn’t allow cell phone conversations on airplanes. The solution is simple: text messages, yes; conversations, no.”


Many Waldens Ridge Scenes Featured In Stokes Picture Book

A number of early views of Waldens Ridge are among the rarities found in the Stokes Photo Collection. There are many photos of the roads up the mountain showing streetcars, wagons and early autos. There are scenes at Rainbow Lake, Falling Water Falls, Signal Point and other scenic spots. Several photos are included of the Signal Mountain Hotel. The more than 700 photos ... (click for more)

2 Known Meth Distributors Arrested In Catoosa County

Two have been arrested in Catoosa County on drug charges.   Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies conducted a traffic stop on Wednesday, at 7 p.m., on Highway 41 in Ringgold. During the stop, deputies seized two pounds of methamphetamine, which has an estimated street value of $30,000. Deputies arrested Jesus Humberto Lopez Deanda, 27, of Lilburn, Ga., and ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill - And Response

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Policeman’s Prayer

Every year, when the Law Enforcement Foundation of Greater Chattanooga holds its annual luncheon, it is one of the most heartening displays of what America really believes, down deep inside. The most prominent and influential leaders in the community – well over 1,000 -- gather to pay tribute and pledge their support to our heroes in blue who are unfaltering in their devotion, service ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Advances In State Volleyball

SMYRNA, Tenn. – It’s a good thing that Signal Mountain volleyball coach Jennifer Redman is a young lady because her heart might not be able to stand the pressure if she wasn’t. Redman’s Lady Eagles were thisclose to being sent to the loser’s bracket in the opening round of the State Volleyball Tournament here at Stewarts Creek High School Wednesday afternoon. Had it been ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Sweeps Loretto To Open Class A State Volleyball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Playing what coach Alfie Dodd called a sub-par match, Boyd-Buchanan’s Lady Bucs were still good enough to sweep Loretto, 3-0, Wednesday morning in the opening match of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class A state volleyball tournament at Blackman High School. Set scores were 25-19, 25-14, 25-20. “We advance and we know we can ... (click for more)