The Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed an additional regulation to expand the capacity of airline bathrooms, according to information released by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday.
The rule requires airlines to provide restrooms for new planes that are sufficiently sized to make it possible for a traveler with an impairment.
The two should be comparable in terms of size to a 95th-percentile male. People should be able to walk towards, go in, and navigate the plane’s bathroom when required to use the airliners lavatory, says a DOT announcement.
The new regulation comes as a reaction to the FAA’s choice in January to briefly ground all planes in the United States for the very first time since the September 11 attacks. This happened due to a significant FAA system breakdown.
— Darrel Barco (@Darrel707) July 28, 2023
The DOT news release quotes Buttigieg as saying traveling can be enough of a nightmare without stressing over having the ability to use a bathroom.
Yet currently, millions of people who use wheelchairs must decide between dehydrating themselves prior to entering the aircraft or foregoing air travel entirely.
PETE BUTTIGIEG: "Every transportation decision in the 21st century is a climate decision." pic.twitter.com/DtvKu9dD15
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 24, 2023
In a recent statement, Vice President Kamala Harris referred to the absence of larger airline restrooms as “unacceptable.”
She promised on July 11 that the Biden administration would shortly unveil an approach that would eliminate this unfairness. In a tweet on Wednesday, Buttigieg referred to the new regulation as “big news”.
The DOT and Buttigieg have come under fire for a number of national transportation mishaps.
In November 2022, for instance, Congress had to intervene to prevent a significant rail worker protest; the agency appeared ill-equipped for the December 2022 Southwest Airlines meltdown.
This left thousands of Americans stuck at the airports on top of the holidays, as reported by Axios. For three weeks following the crash, Buttigieg skipped East Palestine, Ohio, the scene of a hazardous train accident in February.