On Tuesday, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) officially endorsed in-flight mobile phone services for European air passengers, as it cleared the use of wireless phones and Blackberry e-mail devices on board Airbus aircraft. The EASA’s decision stands in contrast to developments in the U.S., where the FCC recently canceled proceedings to consider allowing the use of cell phones on aircraft. Beginning in September, passengers will be able to make and receive wireless calls and send and receive e-mail and SMS text messages on board Airbus A318 planes outfitted with the OnAir system approved by the EASA. Air France is expected to be the first carrier to operate the system, which is compatible with the GSM wireless standard. Other carriers, including Ryanair, British airline BMI, and TAP, a Portuguese airline, have also signed up for the service. Airline crew members can activate the OnAir system once the aircraft has reached an altitude of 9,840 feet. Crew members will also be able to engage a “voice off” mode that limits use of the system to text and e-mail messaging. Describing the EASA certification as his company’s “first response to the growing market for on-board connectivity,” Airbus senior Vice President Rainier von Borstel said that EASA approval “paves the way for the subsequent worldwide deployment of cell phone services and Internet based services across all Airbus aircraft types.”