FAA could set requirement for minimum seat pitches on airlines

flipboard reports that consumer advocate groups and airline industry analysts say the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Reauthorization Bill could do little to change the size of airplane seats and could result in seats getting more cramped, the media source said.

The bill´s primary purpose was to maintain the FAA´s funding, while at the same time establishing some new guidelines for airline regulations. One of the bill´s provisions required the FAA to issue regulations that would establish minimum dimensions for passenger seats on aircraft, including minimums for seat pitch, width, and length, and that are necessary for the safety and health of passengers.

In a hearing before Congress, the FAA said it plans 12 days of evacuation testing that involve 720 real people with a goal to establish what the necessary seat pitch, width, and length is, based on safety.

The FAA does not currently regulate seat sizes, something the nonprofit advocacy group FlyersRights.org tried to change when it filed a petition with the FAA in 2015. The organization requested that the FAA regulate seat sizes on the basis that the sharp reduction in size in passenger seating space, combined with increasing passenger size, is endangering the safety, health, and comfort of passengers.