NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


DOT PANEL'S RECOMMENDATIONS IDENTIFY CHILD SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS IN AVIATION BUT DO NOT GO FAR ENOUGH, NTSB CHAIRMAN SAYS

December 15, 2010

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman said that the recommendations issued today by a federal advisory panel dealing with child safety in aviation are a step in the right direction, but they do not go far enough to ensure the safety of the smallest children in airplanes.

The Department of Transportation's Future of Aviation Advisory Committee (FAAC) presented 23 recommendations to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood today. Among those recommendations was a call that Secretary LaHood utilize the full resources of his office to educate the flying public about the dangers of lap children in aviation. The FAAC also requested that the Secretary to update economic and safety data concerning small children, and to take decisive steps, which may include rulemaking, to address child passenger safety in aviation.

Chairman Hersman stated, "We appreciate the FAAC acknowledging the dangers associated with children flying on their parents' laps, but we would have preferred to see the FAA be mandated to require that every person including our youngest children be restrained appropriately for their age and size." She continued, "We know that the safest place for children younger than age two traveling on airplanes is in an appropriate child safety seat. The era of the lap child on airplanes should come to an end."

The NTSB recently held a Public Forum on Child Passenger Safety in the Air and in Automobiles on December 9, 2010. A webcast of that forum, and presentations and videos concerning child passenger safety are available at www.ntsb.gov/children.

The NTSB will continue its efforts to promote child passenger safety in the coming year through education and advocacy that is aimed toward the caregivers of children, regulatory agencies, and the transportation industry.

NTSB Media Contact: (202) 314-6100

Keith Holloway: hollowk@ntsb.gov

Bridget Serchak: Bridget.serchak@ntsb.gov

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.