In-flight Cellphone Approval Creeps Closer

 - August 1, 2007, 11:03 AM

European authorities apparently do not share the qualms the Federal Communications Commission and FAA have about the in-flight use of personal cellphones. At the Paris Air Show in June, mobile telephony service provider OnAir announced that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the airborne GSM equipment that supports OnAir Services for use on the Airbus A318. It will allow passengers to use Blackberry and similar handheld PDAs to send and receive e-mails and text messages, as well as make and receive voice calls. The first service will become operational later this year on an Air France aircraft. A spokesman said the Manchester, England-based company is not currently targeting business aviation or the U.S. market but added that it is coming.