Across the Atlantic, airlines should soon start weighing their passengers before boarding. This measure has a very specific goal, namely to redefine the average weight of American citizens. It turns out that the current values would no longer be very reliable and this is important for flight safety.
An astonishing measure, but a useful one
When you fly, check-in at the counter includes the weighing of checked baggage. Nevertheless, as revealed Fox Company, US airlines may soon also weigh their passengers before boarding. As unbelievable as it may sound, it is above all a matter of safety. Indeed, those in charge must ensure that the weight of the aircraft corresponds to that allowing for a smooth flight. This total weight includes that of passengers, on-board personnel, freight and fuel. In other words, it is a question of the maximum mass that the device can safely transport.
However, the average weight of American citizens needs to be updated. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), 42% of adults over 20 are obese today, against 30% in 2000. In other words, the weight of individuals in the United States has increased during the last two decades. At the origin of this measure, we find circular Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) dated May 2019. According to this government agency responsible for civil aviation regulations and controls in the United States, it is important to “Accurately reflect the current weight of passengers”.
Confidentiality and volunteering
In the field, airports representing at least 15% of daily departures a local airline will have to carry out this weighing. In addition, the weighing will be done in the secure area, in order to include connecting passengers. Additionally, the FAA advises airlines to apply this update every 36 months. However, not all passengers will need to step on the scale. Indeed, the measure will be random and based on voluntary service. In addition, the result of the weighing will not be visible to other passengers. In case of refusal, which is a right, the company must select another passenger randomly.
If no date has yet been communicated for the implementation of this update, the measurement in question shows once again that the weight of the aircraft is of crucial importance. A few weeks ago, we mentioned an investigation by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) in the United Kingdom. An error when checking in passengers for a flight in 2020 had undervalued the weight of the aircraft of 1,244 kg. Fortunately, the theft in question had proceeded without a problem, although the matter was nonetheless characterized as a serious incident.