Are cell phones on airplanes a nuisance or a necessity?
A congressional subcommittee has taken up the issue of lifting the ban on the devices. However, many in attendance voiced safety and social concerns over green-lighting the phones while planes are airborne.
Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio says he worries the phones interfere with an aircraft's navigation and communication system. He adds, "I don't think anybody wants to take a chance a plane might go down because some idiot is having a totally trivial conversation."
A flight attendants association voiced strong support for the ban, saying cell phones would create a nuisance. The group says attendants could have to become in-flight cell-phone enforcers.
But one advocate says lifting the ban would be a boon for businesses. He says allowing the phones in-flight would convert "isolated hours into productive revenue-generating potential."