Just Put A Cellular Tower In The Plane

from the yakking-while-flying dept

In something of a followup to a post from a few weeks ago, Guy Kewney is going through every reason given for banning mobile phones on planes and explaining why it doesn’t have to be true. The real issue isn’t one of danger (as has been pointed out many times before), but that each phone would be contacting so many cellular towers on the ground it would cause problems for the carriers. The simple solution (mentioned in that earlier article) is to place a modified mobile cellular tower on the plane that directs all communication down in a more appropriate manner. Having found such a local tower, the phones won’t broadcast out to all the other towers on the ground. Still, some are worried about the danger issue, and Kewney systematically points out why all their arguments don’t make sense. Of course, none of this addresses the annoyance issue – but perhaps we’ll have airlines that advertise “no phoning” planes or zones and we’ll basically be back to where we are now.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Just Put A Cellular Tower In The Plane”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
dorpus says:

No Subject Given

So where are the “systematic” arguments you speak of? Your link only talks about straw man examples of having a pet wasp in the cockpit, or of Persian rugs.

In this and other techie forums, I notice a tendency to ignore the evidence presented in actual cases where cell phone signals did cause problems for planes.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

But, knowing that Mike will be too lazy to look up his own blog, accuse me of posturing or what not, I’ll post the evidence again.



“…Since 1996, pilots have reported 35 mobile phone-related safety incidents, including false warnings in the cockpit, distractions causing aircraft to stray accidentally onto runways or fly at the wrong altitude, interrupted radio communications and multiple safety systems malfunctions. “

Rick Colosimo (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 This is evidence? Of what?

“And in October, Russian businessman Sergey Lebedev was fined ?2,500 after forcing a British Airways jet to abort a landing at Manchester Airport.

Cabin crew spent so long arguing with him about whether he would turn off his mobile they were unable to prepare the plane.”

That’s pretty weak evidence that cell phones are a legitimate electronic threat to aircraft. Heck, it could be just as disruptive if I refused to put my tray table up!

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No Subject Given

No, I have no problem looking it up. I did post it after all. However, as was pointed out at the time, those were anecdotal stories of problems that were blamed on the phones – with no evidence that it was actually phones that caused it. If the phones really presented such a threat to life, wouldn’t we have heard about a real safety incident already? I’ve been on enough planes where I’ve seen people using mobile phones to know that there’s a pretty good chance someone’s got their’s on on just about every large flight. Also, if it presented such a danger, wouldn’t the airlines be a lot more strict about making sure the phones were off?

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No Subject Given

So let’s see, “interrupted radio communications” was only the result of space aliens having conversations? Couldn’t possibly have come from cell phones? I’ve been on enough planes where I’ve seen people failing to fasten seat belts, but they did not die. There are only anecdotal tales of plane crashes. So how many planes should crash before cell phones are banned? 10? 100?

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: Just Put A Cellular Tower In The Plane

Because usually the person yakking away to the one next to him or her has a certain sense of decorum (USUALLY I say, this is not always the case).

However, a MUCH HIGHER percentage of people who chat on cellphones do so at top volume, much more likely to annoy the crap out of everybody else.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...