Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Disappointed By Vote Against Safety of Airline Passengers

February 11, 2016
Press Release

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation, today offered his Seat Egress in Air Travel (SEAT) Act (H.R. 4490) as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill at a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meeting. The amendment, which would have required the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish a minimum seat size and minimum distance between rows of seats for the safety and health of passengers, was defeated by a vote of 26-33.

“I am disappointed,” said Congressman Cohen. “This was a vote against the safety and health of airline passengers. The FAA requires that planes be capable of rapid evacuation in case of emergency, yet they haven’t conducted emergency evacuation tests on all of today’s smaller seats. That’s unacceptable.  It’s time for the FAA to take action. I will continue to work with my colleagues to make sure the safety and health of passengers comes before airline profits and hope to have the opportunity to offer this amendment again when the bill comes to the floor of the House.”

A video of debate on Congressman Cohen’s amendment at the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meeting can be found here.

Congressman Cohen played a clip during his remarks of a television commercial that aired during last week’s Super Bowl broadcast to demonstrate the issue of small seat sizes. The full commercial can be found here.