Nov 29, 2019

FAA tests if cramped airline seats pose a safety risk

An American Airlines flight in 2018. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Federal Aviation Administration researchers are testing to see if smaller airplane seats can endanger passengers during an emergency evacuation, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: There are no federal regulations on airplane seat size, the Post notes, and this is the first time the FAA has analyzed the potential safety risks of smaller seats.

  • A record-setting 31.6 million people flew on U.S. airlines over the Thanksgiving holidays, CNN reports, citing Airlines For America.

Details: The FAA's Cabin Safety Research Team will test how quickly 60 volunteer passengers are able to evacuate a mock airplane cabin — modeled after an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 — four different times over a 12 day period.

  • The volunteer pool does not include children or those with disabilities.

What's next: Researchers wants to release test results by next summer, FAA spokesman Rick Breitenfeldt told the Post.

Go deeper: FAA says it will inspect each Boeing 737 MAX before delivery

Go deeper

FAA says it will inspect each Boeing 737 MAX before delivery

Boeing 737 MAX airplanes. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a letter Tuesday that it intends to individually inspect and approve every 737 MAX before Boeing can deliver them to airlines, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Despite public pressure from Boeing to get the 737 MAX back in the air as soon as January, the agency's decision removes the aircraft maker's authority to perform its own pre-delivery safety checks and sign-offs — and could draw out the aircraft's ungrounding process.

Go deeper: Southwest pilots' union head blasts Boeing over handling of 737 MAX

Keep ReadingArrowNov 27, 2019

Whistleblower: I warned Boeing about 737 issues before crashes

Photo: Xinhua/Joel Lerner via Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating claims by former Boeing manager Ed Pierson that he warned the company of issues affecting 737 Max planes months before two deadly crashes involving the fleet.

Where it stands: Pierson is due to testify before Congress this week on the firm's safety failures. He told NBC News that he lobbied Boeing executives in the summer of 2018 through spring 2019 to check on conditions at a Boeing plant in Renton, Washington.

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019

Boeing settles four lawsuits in the wake of 737 MAX crashes

Nadia Milleron, whose daughter Samya Stumo, was killed in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, holds a picture of Boeing 737 Max jet crash victims during the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in October. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Boeing settled four lawsuits with a Seattle law firm on Friday that's representing families of passengers who died when the Lion Air flight crashed in Ethiopia in Oct. 2018, AP reports.

Why it matters: Boeing has taken heat over how it responded in the aftermath of the two crashes that collectively killed 346 passengers. In early November, lawmakers grilled CEO Dennis Muilenburg over how much he was paid following the crashes.

Go deeperArrowNov 16, 2019