Writing to the leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, two advocacy groups—the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) and the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights—called for a study into the use of mobile phones and other voice-enabled wireless devices on commercial airliners before lawmakers vote on tenets of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that would ban cell phone usage in flight. Although FAA and FCC rules currently prohibit airline passengers from placing or receiving cell phone calls in flight, the House Transportation Committee approved FAA bill provisions last month that would ban the use of wireless devices for voice communications during domestic U.S. flights. Warning that airline passengers might be able to place wireless VoIP calls via Wi-Fi systems that are now being deployed by several U.S. airlines, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)—a senior committee member and sponsor of similar legislation that died in the House last year— explained, “the public doesn’t want to be subjected to people talking on their cell phones on an already over-packed airplane.” However, in a letter delivered to committee chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) and ranking committee member John Mica (R-FL), the coalition urged lawmakers to commission a National Academy of Sciences study that would solicit feedback from all stakeholders and that would take into account “real world experiences generated from” in-flight cell phone services as they are currently operate throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Separately, the SBEC estimated that mobile phone use on airplanes could bring about economic benefits of “one billion dollars in new revenue and commercial activity,” as it advised the lawmakers that, “denying U.S. passengers the ability to stay connected while on flights, while are international counterparts are able to do so, could create a significant disadvantage for U.S. business travelers.” Declaring that, “Americans are spending more and more time at airports and on board commercial aircraft,” the coalition argued: “we believe it is essential that the federal government perform a full inquiry before deciding whether to ban the use of wireless communications on commercial flights.”