Schumer worries that without federal action, airlines could shrink seating even more and create safety issues.
“The airlines are shoving people into these airplanes, like they’re in a can of sardines,” he said Sunday. “I am troubled by the inadequate testing procedures. I am trouble because the focus seems far too narrow.”
The senator first raised concerns when it was found that some airline seats were as narrow as 16 inches.
The FAA released a statement, saying it plans to conclude testing by the end of the year and will determine whether regulatory changes are needed.
“The FAA is conducting the ongoing seat width and distance research at the FAA’s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center’s Civil Aviation Medical Institute in Oklahoma City. More than 700 participants are being recruited from the Oklahoma City area and would represent men and women ages 18 to 60. Each age grouping (by decade) will be equitably represented,” the statement read in part. “The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 requires the agency to issue regulations to establish minimum dimensions for airplane seat width, length, and pitch that are necessary for the safety of passengers.”