February 8, 2016 - Issue: Vol. 162, No. 22 — Daily Edition114th Congress (2015 - 2016) - 2nd Session
INTRODUCTION OF SEAT EGRESS IN AIR TRAVEL (SEAT) ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 22
(Extensions of Remarks - February 08, 2016)
Text available as:
Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.
[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E131] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] INTRODUCTION OF SEAT EGRESS IN AIR TRAVEL (SEAT) ACT ______ HON. STEVE COHEN of tennessee in the house of representatives Monday, February 8, 2016 Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, today, I introduce the Seat Egress in Air Travel (SEAT) Act. This bill would direct the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish minimum seat size standards for passenger seats on aircrafts operated by carriers in the U.S. for the health and safety of passengers. Consumers are tired of being squeezed--both physically and fiscally. The average distance between rows of seats has dropped from 35 inches before airline deregulation in the 1970s to about 31 inches today. The average width of an airline seat has also shrunk from 18 inches to about 16\1/2\. This isn't just a matter of comfort. It is about safety and health. The FAA requires that planes be capable of evacuation in 90 seconds or less, but the FAA hasn't conducted emergency evacuation tests on airlines with a distance between rows of less than 29 inches. Some airlines fly with rows as close as 28 inches apart. Furthermore, doctors warn of deep vein thrombosis which can afflict passengers who don't move their legs enough on longer flights. Moreover, average seat sizes have been shrinking while the average size of Americans has been growing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average man in 1960 weighed 166, and the average woman weighed 140 pounds. Now the average man is 196 pounds and the average woman is 166 pounds--and both are about an inch taller. This just doesn't make any sense. I hope that Congress will quickly act on this bill to direct the FAA to establish minimum seat size standards to provide appropriately for the safety and health of airline passengers. ____________________