A couple of caveats to the news.
Airlines won’t be required to loosen restrictions. It will be up to the individual airlines to determine if its planes can handle the interference caused by the use of electronic devices that could affect communications in the cockpit.
However, cellphone and tablets will still only be allowed for use in flight in “airplane mode” not for phone calls.
F.A.A. administrator Michael P. Huerta admitted in an interview with the New York Times that flight attendants have no effective way to determine if a cellphone or tablet is really in airplane mode during flight.
“There’s no safety problem if they’re not, but you’re going to arrive at your destination with a dead battery,” he said, because the device would continue looking for a cell connection and would not find it.