Anthropometric study to update minimum aircraft seating standards

This study was initiated by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) under UK Civil Aviation Authority funding. The study was undertaken against a background trend of generally increasing body dimensions within the European population. This trend, when combined with an increasing number of longer duration flights and high density seating, prompted the need for a wide-ranging review of published anthropometric data that would guide JAA when considering the need for any regulation in this area. It should be noted that this report concentrates on the safety issues associated with seating arrangements. The specific aim is to ensure that seating standards are such that passengers would be able to quickly evacuate an aircraft in the event of an emergency. Thus, the study considers seating accommodation against expected population body dimensions. Software modelling has been used to make an initial assessment of the relationship between seating dimensions and evacuation difficulties. The health implications of aircraft seating are also considered. However, the comfort aspects of aircraft seating did not form part of the research study.