FAA taking public comments for minimum plane seat sizes

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  • Congress ordered the FAA to establish minimum dimensions for airplane seats.
  • Seats have gotten progressively smaller over the years as airlines tried to fit more passengers on their existing planes.
  • For plus-size travelers especially, densifying airplane cabins can be both a comfort and safety issue.

Congress ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to establish minimum dimensions for airplane seats within a year when the agency’s funding was renewed in October 2018.

The FAA has yet to comply.

But today the agency will take a step toward creating a new seat size regulation. The FAA is announcing an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) – a signal flare to interested members of the public that the agency is considering implementing that minimum size for airplane seats after all.

The notice will open a 90-day comment period during which the FAA will solicit feedback on possible airplane seat size standards. 

“Congress directed the FAA to, after notice and comment, issue such rules for minimum dimensions for passenger seats that are necessary for passenger safety,” the agency said in the notice. “The FAA seeks public comment on the minimum seat dimensions that are necessary for passenger safety.”



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