Re: Can't use GPS on Alaska Airlines

From:         Jean-Francois Mezei <jfmezei@videotron.ca>
Organization: Vaxination Informatique
Date:         13 Sep 96 03:03:32 
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I can understand the concern with RF emissions interfering with on-board
nav equipment. I remember that a donwtown hotel on top of a huge
concrete complex had problems with certain TV channels on it cable feed.

The government traced it to a TRS-80 computer with RF converter to a TV
set at a radio shack store some 7 floors below the hotel.

HOWEVER, I think that the airlines don't have much credibility in their
rules since they prohibit radio-walkmans but have no problems with
business passengers turning on their fancy laptops. Yet, portable
printers are prohibited. Is there that much of a difference between a
printer and a laptop (especially a laptop with a floppy drive and/or
cd-rom device) ?

If laptops must be turned off during take-off and landing, but can be
turned on during flight, does this not mean that the laptop's
interference is ok during level flight ? If so, why wouldn't a walkman's
interference be ok during flight ?

Are laptops something airlines must live with because their business
customers are too important ? Once laptops become as common as walkmans,
will the airlines change their rules with regards to laptops ?