"TheNational Transportation Safety Board recommended the other day that the government require all infants and small children be placed in child-restraint seats aboard airliners" {news story, May 23}.

Take out your calculators, folks. The article also said that between 5,000 and 10,000 children younger than 2 travel on airliners every day. Figure between $100 and $200 per fare, and it is pretty easy to come up to more than $500 million. This money would go right into the airlines' pockets and be paid by mostly young parents.

What in the world ever happened to cost effectiveness? How many lives might be saved? I've seen no estimates. There are always plenty of estimates of lives saved if we drive a car at a certain speed, use seat belts or have air bags in our cars; why no estimates now? Maybe only a few lives might be saved over a period of many years. How many more might be saved if that much money were invested in better radar and computers for airports?

The subtitle of the article was: "Era in Which Baby Rides on Lap Free May Be Over." Is this what it's really about -- money, not safety?

ADELE COVER Fairfax