Are Airplane Seats Too Small? FAA Soliciting Public Comments on Minimum Dimensions

Congress ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to establish minimum dimensions for airplane seats within a year when the agency's funding was renewed in October 2018. The FAA has yet to comply.

But today the agency will take a step toward creating a new seat size regulation. The FAA is announcing an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) – a signal flare to interested members of the public that the agency is considering implementing that minimum size for airplane seats after all. The notice will open a 90-day comment period during which the FAA will solicit feedback on possible airplane seat size standards.

"Congress directed the FAA to, after notice and comment, issue such rules for minimum dimensions for passenger seats that are necessary for passenger safety," the agency said in a copy of the notice that was provided to USA TODAY in advance. "The FAA seeks public comment on the minimum seat dimensions that are necessary for passenger safety."