Scandinavian Airlines' request for an official re-weighing of 20,000 randomly chosen passengers on safety grounds is to be taken up by civil aviation authorities throughout Scandinavia.

Luftfartsstyrelsen, the Swedish civil aviation authority, is planning to team up with its counterparts in Denmark and Norway to reach consensus before approaching the European Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency to request a revision of the accepted passenger weight levels set 13 years ago.

The move comes as SAS prepares to conducts a fresh survey next year five years after the airline found the average weight including hand luggage to be 3kg (6.6lb) more than the 84kg model weight accepted as the industry standard.

"SAS claims the major reason is safety since an aircraft with 300 passengers can have a take-off weight almost 1t more than calculated. Since balancing the aircraft, fuel consumption and need for runway length is based on weight, SAS emphasises the need to have correct figures in the calculations," says one senior airport analyst.

Luftfartsstyrelsen confirms it has been approached by SAS and that it will now "look at the issue a little deeper".

The authority says: "The purpose is to take this to the European authorities in an effort to change it, possibly for all airlines," adding that it may actually find that the increased number of lighter women and children flying may make any change unnecessary.

SAS says: "This is primarily for when we are planning fleet operations as we want to have more precision in terms of how much fuel we need carry."

Source: Flight International