Thwarted jetpack markets in everything

by on August 9, 2014 at 8:07 am in Law, Science, Travel, Uncategorized | Permalink

This time Newport Beach, CA is the villain, or the guardian of public safety, depending on your point of view:

While demand for such thrill rides seems limitless, the supply has been curtailed by the Newport Beach City Council. Alarmed by noise complaints and safety concerns, the council approved a six-month moratorium on new jetpack businesses this summer, dashing the hopes of several would-be operators. The move has left Jetpack America as the only oceanfront flight school in town for now, cornering the market on what some see as an ever-expanding audience, thanks in large part to video clips posted online and Internet deals that lure new customers to the shores of Newport Beach, an idyllic setting less than 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

The devices cost $10k (formerly 100k), they push you 40 feet up, and you can go 30 mph.  You can still do it in New Jersey, Delaware, and Florida, though further regulations are coming.  How is this for a good sentence?:

The jetpack universe is small, but growing.

The full story is here, by Jennifer Medina, interesting throughout.

anon August 9, 2014 at 8:29 am

Just one more example of interfering with evolution.

Das August 9, 2014 at 9:38 am

In five years they will probably find out that Jetpack America’s owner is ‘somehow’ connected to the Newport Beach City Council. When it comes to business practices there is seldom anything new under the sun…

Framing this as “too much regulation” vs. “public safety” is just smoke screens.

B Cole August 9, 2014 at 9:52 am

Newport Beach is also a town where to construct a building with more than 250 thousand square feet you must get approval from the city voters. It is a town where right-wing radicals raise NIMBYism to new pinnacles of hypocrisy.

john August 9, 2014 at 3:41 pm

They (we) do support Sea Scouts, community college rowing & sailing, and lots of access. If it is a form of snobbery it is one that puts the Lido 14 before the water-jet-pack.

If you think your balls are that big, take that thing outside the jetty.

john August 9, 2014 at 3:44 pm

(Newport Harbor, compared to those other places, is very, very, small.)

dearieme August 9, 2014 at 10:22 am

“The jetpack universe is small, but growing.” Big Bang or Steady State?

Axa August 9, 2014 at 11:28 am

Keyword here is “harbor”. Safety concerns are not about a jetpack client breaking his back. A new fast toy arises and the local community in slower boats is just scared. The taxpaying residents are not against jetpacks but anything that disturbs quiet sailing.

john August 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm

People here let children go out alone in small sailboats. Are you sure a jet pack rental program will screen for the sort of people who can play safe with kids?

Here’s a video of a sabot race, showing the size of the harbor.

Tor August 9, 2014 at 12:43 pm

There is no petite stagnation.

Zach August 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm

“The devices cost $10k (formerly 100k), they push you 40 feet up, and you can go 30 mph.”

These are water jet apparatuses that redirect the output from a jet ski through a hose that the user has some degree of control over… even for the quasi-professional stunt folks that demonstrate these things, you can’t go 30 mph because the jet ski motor is mostly being used to keep you in the air. As a novelty, beachside attraction, users at best hover a few feet in the air but generally flounder around in the water and quit after a few tries at what’s basically voluntary waterboarding.

It’s not really a matter of safety… just a nuisance (noise, smell, etc) to have jet skis running full tilt right next to the beach.

cthulhu August 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Smells to me like the city government is putting the brakes on until they figure out how to extract rents from the would-be operators…

carl August 9, 2014 at 9:03 pm

That is not nearly as cool as I was hoping. A real jetpack would be exciting.

Garrett August 9, 2014 at 9:55 pm

How has no one brought up this is an Arrested Development inside joke–the setting is Newport Beach!

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