|Since September 2003 the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has been responsible for setting design safety standards for most aircraft operating within the European Union. The minimum spacing between seat rows that is likely to exist on any particular type of aircraft is a function of the maximum number of passenger seats permitted. |
The certification seat requirements are limited solely to safety considerations. Standards of passenger comfort are a matter for the individual airlines.
It has been agreed with EASA that the UK will retain its existing criteria for minimum seat space until such time as a new European standard may be introduced. The minimum distance between the back support cushion of a seat and the back of the seat or other fixed structure in front is approximately 66 cms (measured at 75mm above the seat cushion) in the take-off and landing configuration, that is with seats in the upright (unreclined) position only.
The safety regulations are therefore designed to ensure that the majority of passengers can sit upright in the seat, stand up and move to the aisle without undue difficulty. They have been researched and developed to provide an acceptable degree of safety for passengers and apply equally to all UK registered aircraft. Each seating configuration is approved and inspected on introduction to service. Further inspections also occur during the service life of the aircraft, and operators are aware of their responsibilities in complying with applicable requirements.