"This is the case of the incredible shrinking airline seat". In response, the FAA said it was "studying the ruling carefully and any potential actions we may take to address the court's findings".
Even as emergency evacuations have gotten significantly safer in recent decades, a debate continues to rage on how USA and other leading aviation regulators around the world certify the maximum number of passengers allowed on an airliner. But the judge's decision will force the agency to revisit the issue.
"A source at the agency, who spoke on background, said that the FAA's mandate is strictly to regulate safety and that such issues as comfort, and whether seat size is keeping up with the size of the average passenger, would more rightly fall within the scope of the Department of Transportation, which deals with airline consumer issues", Peterson continues. They also say the FAA is not recognizing the growing obesity rates either.
Seat pitch and width have been shrinking while Americans grow taller and wider.
It follows years of complaints from flyers and lobby groups, with one group called FlyersRights.org claiming American airline seats have shrunk at least an inch and a half since the early 2000's.
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On Saturday, the Election Commission had asked the BJP-led Gujarat government for a report on the Congress' defection claims. Where are the internal problems and bickering the BJP is talking about? "What opposition has seen is just a trickle".
Seat pitch is the distance from one seat to the same spot on the one in front or behind. The Court rebuked the FAA for improperly relying on studies that were irrelevant, outdated or not in the record to conclude that seat size did not affect safety.
By comparison, economy class rows on Delta (DAL) and United (UAL) are spaced between 30 and 31 inches, while JetBlue (JBLU), Southwest (LUV) and Alaska (ALK) have between 31 and 33 inches.
The tightest squeezes come on bargain carriers like Spirit Airlines (SAVE) and Frontier Airlines - both of which truncated seats to just 28-inches apart. But the Senate rejected the plan in April.
But before fliers start dreaming of getting new plus-size seats in the back in the bus, there are a few caveats to consider.
The court agreed that the seat and weight data make it clear that reduced space could make emergency evacuations more hard. According to the government body responsible for regulating this stuff, seat spacing didn't affect passengers' ability to evacuate planes.