Some foreign airlines already allow calls

Thinkstock

Some foreign airlines are already allowing their passengers to make cellphone calls during flights, USA Today reports.

The report comes as U.S. regulators are scheduled to vote on Thursday about whether to lift a ban on talking in the air domestically.

The report said many foreign airlines only require passengers to stop talking on their phones when their planes enter U.S. airspace.

ADVERTISEMENT
"Outside the U.S., all the major airlines offer the service. If they haven't got it today, they're planning to," Mobile OnAir CEO Ian Dawkins told the paper. "In the coming years, it will be standard on all commercial aircraft."

The possibility of allowing in-flight cellphone calls in the United States has proved controversial.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) announced it was reviewing its long-standing ban shortly after aviation regulators ended a ban on using portable electronic devices during flights.

Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate moved quickly to introduce legislation to block the lifting of the phone call ban, arguing that in-flight talking would inconvenience other passengers.

The FCC has said that it is only studying whether phone calls made from airplanes would interfere with communications systems on the ground, not policing passenger behavior.