Should Kids Under 2 Be Required To Have Their Own Seats On A Plane?

Children under 2 years of age are currently allowed to travel in planes on the lap of an adult. However, it’s a practice the National Transportation Safety Board hopes the FAA will put an end to.

Yesterday, the NTSB sent a letter to the FAA asking the regulators to once again consider the need for each passenger on a plane to be secured in their own seat, regardless of age.

Citing a handful of aviation accidents where children were hurt or killed, including one where a small plane was overloaded with too many passengers because of children sitting on laps, the NTSB said — as the group’s name implies — that safety should be the highest priority:

The NTSB concludes that children under the age of 2 years should be afforded the same level of protection as all other persons aboard air carrier airplanes. Therefore, the NTSB recommends that the FAA… require each person who is less than 2 years of age to be restrained in a separate seat position by an appropriate child restraint system during takeoff, landing, and turbulence.

In 2005, the FAA said it supported the idea of child restraint systems in aircraft, but that, by requiring parents to purchase a separate ticket for every child under 2 years of age, many parents would opt for driving to their destination rather than flying. According to the FAA, this would cause an increase in the number of highway fatalities.

What do you think?


NTSB Safety Recommendation [PDF]