Airlines consider weighing passengers before flights

National & World News

Travelers walk through the Salt Lake City International Airport, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(WJW) — Airlines are considering weighing passengers before flights as U.S. obesity rates climb.

The Federal Aviation Administration is concerned that planes may end up being overloaded, reported FOX Business.

Industry observers reportedly say the country’s climbing obesity rates have made the numbers the airlines use for their safety calculations outdated.

They say weighing passengers at airports would be a more accurate way of determining if it’s safe for the plane to take off. The FAA sent out a circular two years ago addressing issues of weight and balance for aircraft.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the obesity rate in the United States was 42.4% in 2017-18, the most recent public data available. 

The new FAA standards increase the weight of an average adult passenger and carry-on bag to 190 pounds in the summer and 195 pounds in the winter, which is up 12% from 170 pounds and 175 pounds, FOX Business reported.

Airlines would be required to take surveys to set “standard average passenger weights” for crew members, baggage and passengers, who would be selected at random and can choose to opt out, according to the report from FOX Business.

The FAA suggests the surveys be completed every 36 months, according to its advisory circular, and passengers’ weight would be kept confidential.

According to the airline blog View from the Wing, airlines all over the world already weigh passengers. Samoa Air, for example, reportedly has charged passengers based on their weight.

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