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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Pre-flight airline passenger safety announcements have been in effect since the beginning of commercial airline travel. Over the years those briefings have been occasionally revised to reflect upgraded safety measures such as noting the location of personal flotation devices and instructions on using on-board firearms. But for the most part, the required announcements that precede every take-off have remained unchanged.
Now the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will allow airlines to significantly shorten and tailor these pre-flight passenger briefings to better fit what the agency calls "the individual personalities of the airlines and the shortened attention span and unique characteristics of their passengers."
Certain instructional requirements must still be met, but airlines now have the latitude to present those instructions in a manner that they feel best reflect the airline and its passengers.
In particular, regional carriers, which cater to an especially distinct demographic of passengers, are anxiously awaiting the adoption of the new pre-flight briefings. Toward that end, the FAA released sample pre-flight briefings from four flight regions in the U.S. These announcements (see below) are examples of what the airlines may wish to adopt and what passengers can expect when they fly in those regions.
After a 90 day open comment period, the FAA is likely to issue a directive to phase-in the new announcements.
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