"Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat" to be investigated

"Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat" to be investigated

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has been directed by a federal judge to investigate the findings in a consumer advocacy petition detailing safety concerns on aircraft.

Dubbed by a U.S. judge as the “case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat,” the New York Times reported that the FAA has been directed by the United States Court of Appeals to "adequately address" a 2015 petition filed by passenger advocacy group Flyers Rights, which raised safety concerns about cramped aircraft cabins such as potential difficulties during evacuations.

The Times reported that the petition stated that since the early 2000s, the distance between rows of seats had decreased from 35 inches to 31 inches and seat widths had narrowed by an average of 1.5 inches, while the average weights for men and women increased by 25 and 24 pounds respectively from 1960 to 2002.

The FAA was quoted in the report as stating it “was “studying the ruling carefully and any potential actions we may take to address the court’s findings.”