AmSafe Could Expand BizJet Seat Capacity

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The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute has tested safety for occupants seated in side-facing seats using AmSafe inflatable shoulder restraints with relatively positive results. Using a new test dummy, conclusions found significant reductions in the degree of injury inflicted on "occupants" and might support FAA efforts to create new regulations for side-facing seats. Translation: the day may be drawing closer when side-facing sofas (i.e. divans) on business jets will be certified for full occupancy during takeoff and landing. Currently, side-facing seats certification is performed on a case-by-case basis. According to CAMI's report, "the tests simulated three typical seating configurations: occupant in the middle seat, occupant seated next to a rigid wall and occupant seated next to an armrest end closure." The report recommends, "This study has demonstrated that the injury criterion contained in the current FAA policy, proposed motor vehicle safety standards, and preliminary neck-injury criteria can be effectively met with a combination of seat design features and advanced restraint systems."