Should govt regulate minimum seat pitch? I found a 2006 study titled "Anthropometric study to update minimum aircraft seating standards" that said:
The dimensions of A, B and C are probably the most critical but the current
minima need to be increased. The current requirement for dimension A, for
example, will only accommodate up to 77th%ile of the European population
(based on buttock-knee lengths). Dimensions B and C will accommodate even
fewer passengers (based on whole body depth measurements).
It is recommended that dimension A (seat back cushion to back of seat in front)
be increased to at least 711mm (28.2") to accommodate up to the 95th%ile
European seated passenger (minimum recommendation). This allows for an
additional 25mm (1") of knee clearance to the back of the seat in front, which
ideally should be afforded to ensure that the knees do not contact the seat in front
(i.e. the passenger should not be jammed in) and to improve ease of access/egress,
to allow for some postural flexibility. The ideal recommendation would be to
increase dimension A to at least 747mm (29.4" – 99%ile world).
Furthermore AN64 currently only considers the seats when in the upright position.
In order to ensure passengers have adequate space when seated, dimension A, and [the proposed foot clearance envelopes, should be measured with the seat in front
in the recline position.
The current requirement also does not provide enough space for taller passengers
to adopt the ‘brace’ position, and, depending upon the outcome of any further
work to specify an optimum safe brace position dimension A would need to
increase to at least 885mm (35").
The current 635mm (25") vertical space requirement for dimension A also needs
to be increased (ideally to 662mm (26")) to take account of passengers’ sitting
Considering seat thickness, the recommended minimum pitch is then about 31"-32" based on anthropometric data.
I always heard that aviation is first about safety, before anything else. Why wouldn't regulators regulate minimum safe pitch? I think it's safe to say that 29" seat pitch is unsafe because people can't even sit properly without hitting their knees to the front seat, and we haven't talked about ideal seat pitch for bracing position, which is at least around 37" based on study above.
What do you think? Should we regulate minimum seatback to seat front distance? Any inputs will be much appreciated.