Senate Approves Measure That Would Regulate Airline Seat Size

By Anna Breuer on 3 October 2018
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Old Senate chamber in the Capitol

Old Senate chamber in the Capitol

The Senate passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act on Tuesday, bringing the U.S. government one step closer to establishing a minimum size for seats on commercial aircraft.

The House of Representatives passed the measure in late September.

The bill requires the FAA to fix a minimum standard for airplane seats. Once the bill is signed into law, the agency would have one year to promulgate a minimum seat width and a minimum space between seats.

The legislation also extends the Federal Aviation Administration’s funding for an additional five years.

The move was applauded by the airline industry.

The bill “protects the interests of both the traveling and shipping public, as well as the more than 700,000 workers in the commercial aviation industry,” said Nicholas Calio, CEO of Airlines for America, the trade association representing major U.S. airlines.

The bill also bars passengers from making voice calls during flights and requires the Department of Transportation to set rules for service and emotional-support animals on planes, requiring airlines to take “reasonable measures to ensure pets are not claimed as service animals.” It also prohibits live animals from being carried in an airplane’s overhead bins.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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