Ten consumer and passenger-rights groups wrote to DOT on Monday urging the FAA to update its testing protocols before conducting new passenger evacuation tests in November.
By Sam Mintz
Politico Morning Transportation
October 22, 2019
I’LL TAKE THE AISLE SEAT: Ten consumer and passenger-rights groups wrote to DOT on Monday urging the FAA to update its testing protocols before conducting new passenger evacuation tests in November. The groups said they’re concerned about recent media reports suggesting that the FAA plans to use simulators of planes that hold as few as 60 passengers to test aircraft that carry “far more than twice that number.” They also worry the agency is pressing ahead without the results of an ongoing DOT inspector general audit of evacuation testing standards or consulting with the agency’s own emergency evacuation standards advisory committee. Congress ordered the FAA to test whether minimum evacuation time standards could still be met amid record passenger loads, smaller seat sizes and baggage fees that result in more carry-on bags.
More about the tests: The first of their kind tests next month in Tulsa will involve 720 Oklahomans recruited from universities, churches and online, according to The Associated Press. To encourage participants to mimic the rushed panic of an emergency, the FAA will give money to the first testers to get off the plane.