December 16, 2022

Duckworth sponsoring new legislation that would require FAA to do more for passenger safety

Source: WGN 9 Chicago


CHICAGO — As millions of people pack onto planes this holiday season lawmakers in Washington are urging the Federal Aviation Administration to update emergency safety standards.

The new legislation Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth is sponsoring would require the FAA to do more to prioritize passenger safety by considering realities like seat size, carry on bags and people with disabilities when it comes to emergency evacuation protocol.

While no one wants to think about an emergency evacuation on a plane, Duckworth is introducing the Emergency Vacating of Aircraft Cabin Act. The measure urges the FAA to update its emergency evacuation standards, which Duckworth says currently require passengers to evacuate a commercial aircraft in a minute and a half.

“The FAA is still relying on the 90 second standard that was set back in the ‘60s and they’ve been simply training and testing to that standard,” Duckworth said at a news conference Friday.

While Duckworth says the FAA’s evacuation simulations found that- seat size and spacing don’t negatively effect the success of an emergency evacuation, she says the simulation only included 60 passengers and wasn’t all-inclusive.

“They ignored the millions of Americans like me living and flying with a disability or mobility issues,” she said. “It ignored young children and infants who rely on mom and dad to carry them from point a to point b

By:  Jewell Hillery