The woman leaving her post as chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board says that one of her greatest disappointments of her tenure is that child safety seats still aren’t required on airplanes for young children.
When she joined the NTSB ten years ago, Deborah Hersman she found it “almost unbelievable” that children under two weren’t required to sit in child safety seats. She said kids are as vulnerable in the case of an airplane crash are they in a car crash. At least.
The NTSB has urged the FAA to develop regulations regarding child safety seats, but the FAA is not required to follow the NTSB’s suggestions. Today the FAA recommends but doesn’t require that a child less than 20 pounds use a rear-facing child restraint system. A forward-facing seat would be used for children weighing between 20 and 40 pounds.
Passengers are permitted to hold children up to two years old in their laps, but that’s a hopeless situation in the event of a hard landing of an airplane. It’s time for the FAA to step up to the plate and require car seats for young kids in planes.