29 September 2018

About F%$#ing Time

The latest FAA authorization bill gives the agency the right to regulate seat spacing:
The recently announced multi-year deal to reauthorize the FAA contains many gifts for industry, from new rules restricting the misuse of service and support animals to policies that advance the safe integration of commercial drones. But a provision tucked in the bill that would clear the way for the FAA to regulate minimum seat sizes has some industry watchers concerned that Congress may be overstepping its bounds.

Section 577 of H.R. 302—the legislative package containing the FAA reauthorization bill—would give the agency one year to issue regulations that establish minimum seat dimensions for all commercial aircraft operating in the U.S. These would include minimums for seat pitch, width and length.


The proposed regulations—if approved—would likely be felt most acutely by the ultra-low-cost carriers (ULCC), which have high-density seating to maintain their low unit costs. 
This does not mean that the FAA will act, and they have seemed disinclined to do so, but I think that political pressure will eventually lead to meaningful action.


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