Gad­get own­ers on planes could face turn-off fines

The Washington Times Daily - - Business -

NE­WARK | The agency that op­er­ates the New York City area’s three ma­jor airports wants pas­sen­gers who don’t turn off their cell­phones or tablets be­fore take­off to pay up or go to court.

The ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Port Au­thor­ity of New York and New Jer­sey said Mon­day the agency is con­sid­er­ing levy­ing fines that could reach tens of thou­sands of dol­lars for be­hav­ior that causes flight de­lays.

The is­sue of elec­tronic de­vices on planes re­ceived na­tional pub­lic­ity in De­cem­ber when ac­tor Alec Bald­win was ousted from a New York-bound flight in Los An­ge­les for re­fus­ing to turn off his cell­phone.

The use of elec­tronic de­vices on planes gen­er­ally is pro­hib­ited dur­ing take­offs and land­ings, and pas­sen­gers are warned by public an­nounce­ments. The Port Au­thor­ity ini­tia­tive is be­lieved to be the only one of its kind be­ing con­tem­plated at a do­mes­tic air­port, but it’s un­clear whether the agency would have the power to im­ple­ment it. News of the Port Au­thor­ity’s plans was first re­ported in the New York Post.

Ac­cord­ing to Foye, Port Au­thor­ity po­lice last year re­sponded to about 400 calls in­volv­ing pas­sen­gers who re­fused to turn off their elec­tronic de­vices at John F. Kennedy In­ter­na­tional, Laguardia and Ne­wark Lib­erty In­ter­na­tional airports.

Last week, the Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced it is look­ing at ways to test de­vices to see if they are safe for pas­sen­gers to use dur­ing crit­i­cal phases of flights such as take­offs and land­ings.

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