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Wed, Jan 29, 2003

Weigh-In: Sensible Additional Step

Some Things the FAA Does Are Silly; This Isn't

We suggested last week that the FAA have a new look at its weight policies and assumptions. Somebody must've been reading ANN!

By late Monday, the FAA had announced a new, temporary weigh-in policy, for those 10-to-19-seat airliners that do yeoman work on shorter and less-traveled routes.

You see, airplanes are designed with a certain number of seats, based on the FAA's published assumptions of how much weight each seat represents. ANN pointed out that, especially since September 11, the makeup of passenger manifests has likely shifted significantly toward adults (heavier) and males (heavier), and away from the more-general profiles used in years past.

When we call the FAA for our story, we were assured that the agency didn't have any plans in the works -- so, the FAA must have read us Friday morning, and gone straight to work. Wow.

Anyway, the FAA has now said that airlines should ask, or verify, how much passengers, with clothing, luggage, and all, weigh. Passengers who refuse to answer, or to cooperate, can be barred from flights.

You see, it's not about political correctness; it's about physics. Three cheers for the FAA on this one!

FMI: www.faa.gov

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