|Above, the Economy section of an Airbus A380. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
If you were hoping that a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) study would either halt the shrinking of airline seating due to safety issues or make them larger, those hopes were dashed.
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.
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