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Friday, July 28, 2017
APFA National President Bob Ross spent a few days in Washington, D.C. last week meeting with legislators as well as attending ALPA’s Air Safety Forum. The annual forum brought industry stakeholders together to dialogue on current safety and security concerns.
On Capitol Hill, Bob expressed several of these concerns in a one-on-one discussion with Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09). He offered APFA’s support for the SEAT Act Amendment which would instruct the FAA to issue regulations governing seat pitch, width and length.
APFA believes that the steady rise in air rage can, in part, be attributed to the steady decrease of seat pitch and width. APFA is also concerned that there has been inadequate study on the effect of seat pitch and the safe evacuation of aircraft within 90 seconds.
Without regulatory guidance, passengers will face increasing challenges in terms of comfort and safety. We applaud Congressman Cohen for standing up for safety.
Bob also emphasized the importance of reviewing Flight Attendant staffing numbers and thanked Congressman Cohen for raising this issue in Congress. “A review of Flight Attendant staffing minimums is several decades overdue given the first responder responsibilities that Flight Attendants have taken on since 9/11,” said Bob Ross. “When an emergency occurs, Flight Attendants must be ready to save lives, so we must ensure that our aircraft are properly staffed. There is nothing technical about the current Flight Attendant-to-seat ratio. It only makes sense that the appropriate staffing levels are reviewed and updated if needed as part of any safety and fatigue program.”
APFA will continue to ensure the interests of our members are represented on Capitol Hill from cabin seat size and staffing, to our position on Open Skies, Flags of Convenience, toxic aircraft environments, and fatigue— just to name a few.
APFA Interim National Government Affairs Representative