Ofcom approves in-flight mobile calls

Ofcom approves in-flight mobile calls

I'm on the plane

Ofcom has given the green light for airlines to install mobile phone masts in aircraft following an extended consultation period.

The regulator stated that it has no objection to passengers making mobile phone calls, provided that the safety of the aircraft is not affected.

However, the technology will still need to be approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Ofcom acknowledged that there could be other issues to mobile phone use on aircraft beyond aircraft safety.

"Some of the responses to the consultation also raised concerns about passenger welfare and the potential for discomfort, anti-social behaviour and 'air rage'," said Ofcom in its Mobile Communications Onboard Aircraft report.

"At an operational level such considerations fall to the airlines, and Ofcom notified the CAA of the non-confidential comments received during the consultation."

Ofcom also acknowledged that some people are concerned about charging rates and the possibility of inadvertently racking up huge bills.

The regulator stressed that airlines must make it absolutely clear what calls will cost before the call is made.