Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 302, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018:
"For anyone that's complained about shrinking airplane seats or had to endure someone's loud cell phone call on a flight, Congress is finally passing important and relevant benefits and protections for passengers and staff. South Florida passengers - including the estimated 36 million passengers that will fly through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International this year - will see notable improvements to their experience, including minimum seat size requirements and setting up an Aviation Consumer Advocate to resolve travel complaints. With Americans so highly dependent on air travel, whether for work or leisure, this legislation and consumer protection provisions were long overdue."
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's summary of the legislation is available here.
Among the notable provisions of the legislation:
Directs FAA to set minimum dimensions for passenger seats, including pitch and width;
Requires Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) review of cabin evacuation assumptions to ensure safe evacuation in the event of an emergency;
Requires numerous studies, reviews, and reports aimed at enhancing aviation safety,
Mandates flight attendants receive a minimum of 10 hours of rest between duty periods;
Establishes a new "Aviation Consumer Advocate" position at the Department of Transportation (DOT) to help resolve consumer complaints;
Prohibits the involuntary bumping of passengers from flights after their boarding passes have been collected or scanned;
Prohibits cell phone calls and the use of e-cigarettes during flights;
Requires all medium and large U.S. airports to have private rooms for nursing mothers and baby changing tables in at least one restroom in each passenger terminal;
Creates a task force on eliminating sexual misconduct on commercial aircraft; and
Addresses issues faced by passengers with disabilities, including by requiring DOT to develop an "Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights" and creates a civil penalty for damage to passengers' wheelchairs and mobility aids.
Enhances public understanding of NTSB’s safety recommendations by requiring a report on the “Most Wanted List” selection process and a methodology section to accompany each recommendation;