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Court denies petition to require FAA to adopt minimum seat size, spacing requirements

The court found there was not enough evidence to show that the airline seats are dangerously small.

Published: March 6, 2023 2:20pm

Updated: March 6, 2023 2:51pm

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a petition to require the Federal Aviation Administration to adopt minimum-seat size and spacing requirements for airplanes – in a case brought forward by passenger advocacy group

The court stated in a ruling Friday that seat sizes do not have an effect on evacuation time and there is no "clear and indisputable" connection between seat sizes and blood clots, only common soreness and stiffness.

"To be sure, many airline seats are uncomfortably small," Circuit Judge Justin Walker wrote in the court's opinion. "That is why some passengers pay for wider seats and extra legroom.  But it is not 'clear and indisputable' that airline seats have become dangerously small." 

After the ruling, said Congress may need "to pass an indisputable law to override FAA and airline unlimited seat shrinkage," rather than attempting a change in regulations through legal efforts.

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