The tightening space between seats on planes is causing a stir in the industry, with some arguing shorter legroom could have serious implications for the safety of passengers.
According to ABC News, the shrinking leg space on commercial flights prevents passengers from fully taking on the brace position in a plane crash.
Speaking at a Canberra-based aviation conference, Canadian academic and chair of the International Board for Research into Aircraft Crash Events (IBRACE) Jan Davies said she had legitimate concerns about the issue.
“The seat pitch is the distance essentially between the back of the seat in front of you and your seat back, and airlines have been reducing that distance over the last decade or so,” she said.
“They want to get more passengers in. That means it’s harder to assume the brace position.
“If your seat pitch is less than 30 inches [76.2cm], you will not be able to brace properly if you are of average height … as well as if you are a tall person or a larger person, because there’s just not much space.”
Per ABC, quite a few Australian carriers fall below the 30 inch seat size.
Jetstar’s Airbus A320 and A321 have seat pitches of 29 inches and 28 inches respectively, Tigerair’s A320 also sits at 29 inches.