Every year as the weather gets warmer and the school year winds down, the summer travel season gathers steam. It's a promising time, but it's not all fun and games; it's also a time to think about safety. And the Federal Aviation Administration is doing just that.
To usher in the busy travel season--and to continue our National Transportation Week emphasis on safety--the FAA is redoubling its efforts to educate air travelers about flying safely with children.
As FAA Administrator Michael Huerta will tell you, there is one simple step that all parents, grandparents, and caregivers can take: "The safest place for a small child on an airplane is in an approved child safety seat, not on an adult’s lap."
Choosing and installing the right safety seat can seem challenging, so the FAA has developed a new website and online toolkit for air travelers. Because not all safety seats are suitable for use in an aircraft, the site offers information about FAA-approved safety devices for traveling with kids. It also features a video demonstrating how to install those devices for maximum safety.
It's really very simple. Our smallest children deserve the same protection as the rest of America's air travelers.
And our front-line air safety professionals--the nation's flight attendants--agree: "By using an approved child restraint device, even our most vulnerable passengers will have much-needed protection in the event of an emergency,” said Veda Shook, president of the Association of Flight Attendants International.
The FAA's new website also includes a downloadable tip sheet for parents and caregivers and links to frequently asked questions. One important tip? Buying a ticket for a child is the only way to guarantee that a child safety seat can be used during flight, so contact your air carrier to see if there are any discounts available for children.
Millions of people will take to the skies, roads, and rails this summer, and at DOT we won't stop doing everything we can to keep all of them as safe as possible. That includes adults, teens, and--America's most vulnerable passengers--small children.
I hope you'll help us pursue that important safety mission by making informed choices about your child's safety. Websites like the FAA's new www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_children can get the ball rolling, but only you can carry it across the goal line.