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Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., introduced a bill Thursday that would compel the Federal Aviation Administration to update its standards for airplane evacuation testing.
The Emergency Vacating of Aircraft Cabin (EVAC) Act would require the FAA to incorporate carry-on bags and simulate a wider variety of passenger ages and ability levels in future tests.
“The recent FAA evacuation tests have not included real-life conditions,” Duckworth told USA TODAY. “I’m trying to impose real-world parameters with these tests.”
The FAA last conducted live evacuation testing in 2019 and 2020 in response to a mandate from Congress to consider instituting minimum seat dimensions for air carriers. Those tests were criticized for using only able-bodied test subjects ages 18 to 60.
Duckworth’s proposed legislation is meant to address that.