Air New Zealand has said it will weigh tourists before boarding in June as part of a study to determine the average weight of passengers to improve aircraft balancing. As the carrier’s representatives assure, for now, this procedure is voluntary, and all received data will be hidden from other travelers and the staff at the check-in counters, writes Dailystar.
An Air New Zealand official said everyone who agreed to take part in the study would contribute to the safety of flights in the future. The collected data will be useful to pilots for calculating the total weight and correct balancing of the aircraft. The airline’s goal is to determine the average passenger weight, which has changed significantly in recent years.
Voluntary weighing will be carried out on Air New Zealand flights departing from Auckland International Airport. The study will last until July 2. According to Alastair James, Air New Zealand’s load control improvement specialist, passenger weights will be kept confidential and not displayed to outsiders.
“We weigh everything that is on board the plane – from cargo to food and luggage in the baggage compartment. For customers, crew, and hand luggage, we use the average weight that we get from the surveys,” said Alastair.
And then he added: “We know that stepping on the scales at the airport can be a daunting prospect. But we want to assure our customers that there will be no display anywhere. No one will be able to see your weight, not even us. It is completely anonymous. It’s simple, it’s voluntary, and by taking the plunge, you help us fly safely and efficiently every time.”
Air New Zealand needs 10,000 passengers to participate in the study. The survey is reportedly a requirement of the Civil Aviation Authority.
It is not surprising that such a collection is necessary. Passengers are getting thinner, and that’s causing problems for airplanes. Last year, United Airlines began blocking several seats on flights due to increased passenger weight. As passengers get heavier, airplane seating needs to be adjusted to accommodate onboard safety, which means some seats must remain empty.
For the safe operation of aircraft, it is necessary to perform certain mathematical calculations using the average weight of each passenger so that the carrier can balance the aircraft and fill it with sufficient fuel. As people get heavier, calculations based on antiquated assumed scales can lead to incorrect and dangerous results.