Times Contributor Blames the FAA for Making Devices Dangerous

By | January 2, 2013

Amazon Kindle

We respect Nick Bilton and his writing. We even bought and read his book.

His writing on the issues of the ban on portable electronics on airplanes have always made sense to us…till now. We believe his frustration, frustration we share, by the way, at the Federal Aviation Authority is warranted. But the tone seems odd for the Newspaper of Record.

The Head of the F.C.C, members of Congress, and the public have demanded explanations. And it isn’t because we can’t keep our devices off…although some people clearly can’t, people like Alec Baldwin, for example. We demand explanations because there is no explanation.

Is it electromagnetic interference? Once the plane is at height, these devices are permitted. Like many things in this world, the public will accept an explanation that makes sense? Most of us are not experts, by any means, but we rely on expert opinions, and none are forthcoming.

Is it safety? Bilton uses the exact argument we do. A Kindle is substantially lighter than a hardcover. What would you rather get hit with?  If it is a matter of attention…people should be required to put all reading material away, and not enjoy any in flight entertainment, provided by the carrier.

In the end, if it is better we turn off our devices…let the FAA justify it. Otherwise, it is easier to let people have their gadgets.