The agency that operates the New York City area's three major airports has a message for passengers who don't turn off their cell phones or tablets before takeoff: Pay up, or see you in court.

The executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says the agency is considering levying fines that could reach tens of thousands of dollars for behavior that causes flight delays.

Pat Foye hopes the new initiative will convince fliers to change behavior. He says police answered about 400 calls last year at J.F.K., La Guardia and Newark airports to deal with unruly passengers.

The issue received national publicity in December when actor Alec Baldwin was kicked off a New York-bound flight in Los Angeles for refusing to turn off his cellphone.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)