The agency has come under pressure to reverse course the policy from lawmakers including Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who has threatened to introduce legislation to force the change.
"We live in an increasingly connected world, and information is traveling at the speed it takes our email to refresh,” McCaskill said in a statement in December.
“The current rules are inconvenient to travelers, don’t make sense, and lack a scientific basis," McCaskill continued. "Airline employees have the incredibly important job of keeping us safe in the air — their efforts are better spent worrying about rules that actually accomplish that goal.”
Even if the FAA does decide to end its prohibition, cellphone users should not completely rejoice. The FAA has said its study would not include consideration of allowing "voice communications" during flights.