FAA Electronics Ban on Planes Causes More Harm Than Good
December 31, 2012 1:15 PM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: NBC Universal)
Passengers are acting out against the rules and even hurting one another
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) worries that
electronic device use on planes
places passengers in harm's way, but the real issue is that the FAA is spreading fear about an issue that hasn't been proven yet.
The FAA has set rules that make it so passengers cannot use electronic devices like smartphones, tablets and e-readers during takeoff and landing on a flight. However, there is no solid proof that electronics affect the way a plane performs. This has been in question for some time, but the FAA continues to impose these rules on passengers, and it has caused panic and even injuries among those who travel by plane.
For instance, a 68-year-old man punched a 15-year-old on a plane when the teenager refused to turn off his smartphone during a flight. According to the man, he was doing it to save the entire plane from any harmful consequences.
Just a couple of months ago, a passenger was arrested in El Paso when he decided not to turn off his cell phone during landing. Last month, another passenger did the same when landing in New York and a swarm of cop cars were waiting for him once he exited the plane.
Of course, many also remember the incident where Alec Baldwin was kicked off a plane in 2011 for playing Words With Friends.
This goes to show that the FAA is causing more trouble by making people believe that electronics are an issue when they may very well not be.
Back in March, the FAA said it would
the effects of tablet/e-reader use
during takeoff and landing.
Pilots can already use iPads during the entire flight [Image Soure: The AirplaneNut]
The FAA likely put this testing off due to costs and the amount of testing required for these devices to pass. In order for the FAA to approve the use of e-readers and tablets during takeoff and landing, each kind of device needs to be tested. For example, an iPad cannot be tested alone; the iPad 2 and the new iPad must be tested as well. There are already several versions of the Kindle available as well, such as the Kindle Fire tablet, and many other Android-powered tablets on the market. There are now Windows 8 tablets on the market too.
In early December 2011, the FAA raised a few eyebrows when
allowing American Airlines pilots to use iPads in the cockpit
. The FAA allowed iPads to replace paper manuals and charts, and they could be used during takeoff and landing. The FAA argued that allowing two iPads in the cockpit was a significantly different scenario than several passengers using several devices for longer periods of time.
Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
pressured the FAA to allow greater use of electronic devices
during takeoff and landing because
"they empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family, and they enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness."
The New York Times
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1/1/2013 1:04:32 PM
I am glad you have the expertise to be able to determine that faulted/out of tolerance commercial-quality equipment won't interfere with cockpit communications, or affect radio navigation. Perhaps you can send your analysis to the FAA and clear it up for all time?
Sorry for the attitude, but nobody ever thinks about these things.
1/2/2013 9:43:55 AM
I actually do. And the idea is laughable - even for devices that broadcast.
First, the antennas on commercial aircraft are on the outside of the plane - usually the wings. So the signal is going to have to penetrate the hull and travel a fair distance to even begin to have a chance to be disruptive.
Second, aviation uses specific set-aside spectrum for communications which are highly isolated from the spectrum reserved for wifi and commercial wireless signals. That means that the only thing an airplanes antenna will be sensitive to is 3rd/4th/5th order resonance frequencies.
Third, these devices are low-powered and not adjacent - so Inverse-Square is going to reduce any signal to background static by the time it gets there.
It just isn't possible. It would be like FM radio from New York interfering with VHF TV from Chicago. It just isn't going to happen.
1/2/2013 1:26:20 PM
What about the buzzing I hear in my speakers every time I have a call coming in? Could that type of interference bleed into some of the electrical cabling running through the plane?
"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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