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FAA: 'No Evidence' Smaller Seat Size is a Safety Hazard

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© Getty Images Interior of airplane. (photo via vovashevchuk /iStock / Getty Images Plus)

By Monica Poling, TravelPulse

Last year, after Federal Judge Patricia Millett ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to review seat size and legroom on aircraft from the perspective of passenger safety, the traveling public held their collective breath in the hopes that the ruling might be the first step back in the favor of passenger rights.

[post_ads]In what Judge Millet dubbed “the case of the incredible shrinking airline seat,” the suit was filed by the organization Flyers Rights, which argued that smaller seat sizes could affect the ability of passengers to evacuate an aircraft safely in case of an emergency. The organization also said smaller seat size could lead to increased risk of blood clots in air travelers.

A three-judge federal panel, led by Millett, ordered the FAA to undergo a “properly reasoned disposition” of safety issues related to seating configurations.

This week, the hopes of the flying public have been dashed, after the FAA announced it would not impose new restrictions on the airline industry.

The agency said it “has no evidence that there is an immediate safety issue necessitating rule-making at this time,” in a letter sent Monday. It also cited “research” indicates emergency evacuations aren’t slowed down by tighter seating. Instead, the choke points created by the emergency exits is what slows evacuations.

Because it takes time for flight attendants to get the emergency exits ready for evacuation, “The FAA has no evidence that a typical passenger, even a larger one, will take more than a couple of seconds to get out of his or her seat, or that such time will approach the time necessary to get the emergency exits functional.”

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Travel - U.S. Daily News: FAA: 'No Evidence' Smaller Seat Size is a Safety Hazard
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