I am not sure how I feel about this latest turn of events from the FAA in the US. The Federal Aviation Administration is creating a new cross government industry group to study if smartphones and other electronics will be safe to run during flights. This essentially could do away with flight mode though the FAA and carriers still seem firmly against in flight calls or VoIP. This new group will consider testing new standards for in-flight electronics use. That could include takeoff and landing along with cellular connections running in the sky though the FAA is still thinking it might distract passengers during safety presentations.
The FAA is actually kicking things of with a public request for comments for 60 days starting today. They are looking for companies to comment on the issues and possible rules and certifications possible for electronics and aircraft. All in all it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. If it is safe I don’t see the issue with cellular data being allowed since that does not really differ from Wi-Fi data on current planes. I am just glad they nixed in flight calling in the bud from the carriers.