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FAA Reauthorization Act includes more legroom on flights, more

Posted: 9:48 PM, Oct 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-04 03:21:33Z

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a rare bipartisan effort, Congress passed a bill that will give you more leg room on planes. 

Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act. The House voted 398-23 and the Senate voted 93-6. 

"These pieces of legislation do happen. It's just we don't often hear about them because the ones we hear about most often are the ones that are controversial," Matt Harris, assistant political science professor at Park University, added.

It mandates that pets cannot go in the overhead bins and passengers cannot be removed from a plane once they're seated. Then, there's section 577 which says in part, "The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue regulations that establish minimum dimensions for passenger seats on aircraft." That means more legroom.

In recent years, seat space has been shrinking. Legroom has gone from roughly 35 inches to 30, sometimes less than that. This legislation works to correct that. 

Harris said, "Everyone is probably in agreement about things like, we want to be safe when we fly. We want to be comfortable when we fly."

The White House sent a statement which reads in part, that the FAA Reauthorization Act, "invests in airport infrastructure, promotes safety and American leadership in aviation including the efficient integration of unmanned aircraft systems, and strengthens consumer service."

The deadline for the FAA to determine the minimum standard for leg room is one year from the date it's enacted.