The commercial air travel industry has incentivized strategies that maximize the number of bodies that can fit into the cabin. This demand for increased capacity in a limited space has led to economy class cabins becoming increasingly cramped. This lack of space particularly impacts travelers who are living with obesity. To develop an understanding of this issue, we evaluated the current space within the cabin and compared it to anthropometric data of both the general population and a cohort of people living with obesity. The lack of accommodation for those living with obesity may have severe impacts on the health and safety of all passengers. Upon review of the data, it is clear that there remains more work to be done to address the accommodation of passengers that better reflect the anthropometry of the flying public. Identifying a solution that balances economics with passenger health, safety, and comfort will require a collaborative effort between carriers, manufacturers, regulators, and passengers.

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Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
School of Industrial Design

Daigle, K. (Kayla), Clark, D. (Dawson), Trudel, C, & Kelsey, S. (Shelley). (2020). Aircraft Accommodation for People Living with Obesity: A Call for a Review of Existing Seating, Safety and Emergency Regulations. In Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-50943-9_72