Cohen Hails House Passage of Airline SEAT Act

April 27, 2018
Press Release
Bill passes House as part of FAA Reauthorization Package

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a member of the Aviation Subcommittee, hailed this morning’s House passage of the bipartisan SEAT Act, which will require the FAA to establish minimum seat sizes and minimum distances between rows to protect the health and safety of passengers.  The bill passed the House as part of a broader Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization package by a vote of 393 to 13.

The SEAT Act was originally introduced by Congressman Cohen and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), and it was incorporated into the FAA Reauthorization package when Congressman Cohen offered it at a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup last year.

“House passage of the SEAT Act is a huge win for airline passengers and a huge win for safety.  Airlines should never be allowed to put profits ahead of safety and health.  Passengers need to be able to evacuate quickly and safely in the event of an emergency, and the FAA needs to make sure they can.”

Congressman Cohen was disappointed that another amendment he offered, the Forbid Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees Act, which would require the FAA to determine whether fees for cancelling or changing flights or for baggage are reasonable and proportional to the cost of the services provided, was blocked from consideration by House Republicans. That language remains in the Senate bill, however, and he is hoping it becomes law.

The FAA Reauthorization package also included a bipartisan amendment offered by Congressman Cohen to streamline the process for airlines to determine their pilots have clean driving records before entering cockpits.

Passage of H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization package, is an important and long-awaited step to modernizing aviation policies and providing long term certainty for the future safety and success of the U.S. aviation sector.