Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Demands Action on Enforcing SEAT Act Implementation

September 26, 2019
Press Release
Volunteers to participate in FAA airplane-evacuation tests in November

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation, today demanded answers from Federal Aviation Administration Deputy Administrator Daniel Elwell about why provisions of the Seat Egress in Air Travel (SEAT) Act have not been fully implemented. This bill, which Congressman Cohen authored and that was included in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, requires the FAA to study the size of airline seats and the distance between seating rows in determining whether airplanes can be safely evacuated in the statutorily mandated 90 seconds.

Elwell answered that tests of airplane evacuations involving 720 demographically representative people are scheduled over 12 days in November. Congressman Cohen volunteered to participate in or observe the November testing.

See that exchange here.

After the hearing, Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“We don’t need to have another crisis like we had with the Boeing airplane. I am concerned that the FAA has not fully complied with the provisions of my SEAT Act almost a year after it was signed into law. It is past time for the FAA to prioritize safe evacuation of airplanes in emergencies. I look forward to seeing the SEAT Act’s safety provisions implemented as soon as possible.”