New Rule Aims To Improve Child-restraint Systems

 - April 9, 2007, 7:58 AM

The FAA has decided not to require the use of child-restraint systems (CRSs) on aircraft, but is amending regulations to allow the use of CRSs approved under a TC, STC or TSO. Current regulations do not allow the use of CRSs other than those that meet the standards for automobiles. The FAA said that many of the automobile-approved CRSs “do not perform optimally in the aircraft environment.” The agency said it is amending its regulations to “allow the use of alternative CRSs that improve the restraint system for children otherwise belted only with a lap belt.” The agency believes this final rule “will reduce an administrative burden and encourage the development of innovative CRSs.” The rule goes into effect September 26 and applies to operations under Parts 91, 121, 125 and 135. Meanwhile, the NTSB is not pleased with the FAA withdrawing its 1998 proposal to mandate CRSs. The Safety Board expressed “disappointment” and reiterated its 1999 recommendation that infants and small children under two years old should be afforded “the same [restraint] protection that is provided to other aircraft passengers.”