Florida Politics

Frost Introduces Bipartisan Bill Improving Airplane Safety


While flying by airplane is generally considered safe, it's important to note that current cabin air systems can be contaminated with harmful toxins. In recognition of this, Representative Maxwell Frost (D-FL) and Representative Mike Lawler (R-NY) have come together in a bipartisan effort to introduce a bill. This legislation aims to phase out these air systems on commercial planes, ensuring the air supply onboard is safe and breathable.

For additional context, many aircraft, except the Boeing 787, use "bleed air" systems drawn from the plane's engine or auxiliary power unit. Leaks and defects, also known as "fume events," can expose pilots, crew, and passengers to toxins in airplane fuel, leading to immediate and long-term health problems affecting the heart, lungs, and neurological system and even causing cancer.

As a result, Rep. Frost's bill, the Safe Air on Airplanes Act, would work to phase out these bleed air systems on newly-built aircraft and improve filtering methods on planes currently serving. The Florida Congressman said he was inspired to draft the bill after learning one of his constituents, a flight attendant named Shannon De Witt, became the victim of a fume event.

Rep. Frost mentions the attendant in his press release: "It's unacceptable and a huge failure of the airline industry that the millions of passengers and crew flying daily are at risk of inhaling dangerous, toxic fumes and chemicals when they step onto an airplane. Flight attendants like Shannon De Witt, and all passengers and flight crews deserve clean air on each and every flight they take. Airplane safety is top of mind for Americans and clean, safe air to breathe needs to be a part of this conversation."

Representative Lawler highlights the urgency of the issue in a direct quote: "Every day, millions of airline passengers are at risk to dangerous fume exposure due to the flawed bleed air systems in almost all passenger aircrafts. That's why I'm proud to work with Congressman Frost and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to introduce the Safe Air on Airplanes Act, which will phase out these obsolete systems and protect the health and safety of the nearly three million daily airborne Americans."

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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