Airlines passengers may be required to step on the scale at the airport or share how much they weigh before boarding a flight, a new report suggests.
This measure is because Americans are getting “fatter” and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is concerned aircraft may be overloaded.
Airline carriers are tasked with calculating the weight and balance of their aircraft to ensure it is within allowable limits for the safety of the plane.
Increasing obesity rates in the United States, however, dictate that the standard numbers used by the airline industry to average out passenger weight is likely outdated and therefore, unsafe to use.
Now, air carriers may have to update average passenger weight by weighing them at the gate, circular advisory sent out by the FAA states.
Under the new pending requirements, reviewed by airline industry publication AirInsightGroup, airlines would be mandated to take surveys to set “standard average passenger weights” for crew members, baggage and passengers through random sampling and call on passengers to participate.
“Regardless of the sampling method used, an operator has the option of surveying each passenger and bag abroad the aircraft and should give a passenger the right to decline to participate in any passenger or weight survey,” the guidance says, according to AirInsightGroup.
The survey is said to be conducted on a voluntary basis, so if a passenger declines to participate, the airline is advised to select another traveler at random, according to the guidance.