Readers React: FAA’s well-founded caution on flights to Israel

To the editor: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement last week about the Federal Aviation Administration’s brief ban on U.S. flights to Israel — that “there’s no reason whatsoever for the mistaken FAA decision to instruct American planes not to come here” — is wrong. (“FAA caution on Israel flights reflects concern after Ukraine incident,” July 23)

Israel: A July 29 letter to the editor incorrectly said former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently flew to Israel on a private plane. In fact, Bloomberg traveled on the commercial airline El Al. —

Although Netanyahu believes that the rocket that landed near Ben Gurion International Airport does not make the airport unsafe, he should know that the U.S. Air Force planes that transport Secretary of State John Kerry, contrary to passenger airliners, are equipped with anti-missile defenses. And former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was willing to take a calculated risk by flying in his own plane to Israel.

Commercial airline passengers, on the other hand, have a right to assume that there is no risk of being blown out of the sky. The FAA acted within its mission to provide the safest air travel possible.

Jean-Claude Demirdjian, Los Angeles


The writer is a retired Boeing 747 captain.