Air travel would be a profoundly dangerous practice if any kid who turned on a Game Boy during takeoff could bring a multimillion dollar jetliner to its fiery doom. The Federal Aviation Administration, which mandates that nice airline stewards must pester you to turn off your electronics, has reluctantly agreed to review the electronics policy in light of increased press attention.
Now, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has decided to increase the public pressure in a diplomatically worded letter to the FAA that calls to “enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices.”
“This review comes at a time of tremendous innovation, as mobile devices are increasingly interwoven in our daily lives,” Genachowski continues. “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.”
Some readers may be happy to know that the FAA will not consider whether to permit voice calls. To be sure, social etiquette has not kept up with the pace of technology, and sitting next to a loud talker might be enough to cause simmering insanity, if not an outright brawl.
Still, if iPads and Kindles are found to be a real threat to public safety, I’m never flying again. Otherwise, let us boot up and jack in when we sit down and buckle up.