US president Donald Trump has signed into law a bill that regulates aircraft seat size while providing five years of guaranteed funding to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The five-years of funding brings some long-term stability to an agency that has long operated under temporary funding measures.
"Thanks to this law, the nation's aviation programmes will have the longest period of stability since 1982," says Bill Shuster, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, in a release.
"The five-year bill authorises the reliable, predictable funding the FAA needs to invest in these critical priorities," the agency says in a statement.
The law requires the FAA set minimum seat dimensions – pitch, width, length – as "necessary for the safety of passengers", the text says. It also requires the agency to review how changes in seat configuration have affected aircraft evacuation requirements.
The law prohibits airlines from involuntarily bumping passengers who already boarded aircraft and prohibits passengers from speaking on mobile phones inflight.
In addition, the law requires airlines to proactively pay compensation to passengers who are denied boarding, rather than waiting until passengers request compensation, the text says.